Every company using social media to bring brand awarness, selling or any other reason, has to face the fact that sooner or later they might have a crisis. How to react to social media crisis and is there a good way to handle it? Let me teach you.
I’ve been working with social media crisis for 3 years now. I’ve seen many different situations. Small companies, big corporations, just Polish firms or international brands, little problems, great fuckups – I’ve seen them all. I’ve studied hundreds of cases, writing about some of them in my book, titled Handling the social media crisis. There is one thing for sure that will help you handle the social media crisis and it’s called 5C rule. It’s been developed by Adam Łaszyn, who is a public relations expert. It’s plain simple.
You, as a brand, are trusted. People buy from you or use your services, since they trust that it will be good, something they desire or just what you promised it to be. But what if you do something wrong? Just confess. There is no one and no brand that never makes mistakes. And nobody expects you to always be right, unmistaken or perfect. But the main thing is to confess your errors. Your clients will forgive you.
On the other hand, if you lie, say somebody else is at fault or just silence the issue, your trust and reputation might get hurt.
It’s hard to say you’re sorry. I know that. Especially when you want to pretend that it’s not your fault and comp is admitting it’s your issue. But believe me – most of your clients will be glad that you apologise. Remember you can use different phrases: we’re sorry, we must apologise ect.
Do you know, that around 75% of social media crisis (Alitmeter Group) can be avoided? One needs proper preparations: controlling the communication, a strategy, good customer service. Most times situations that I observed were just stupid mistakes.
It’s much easier to prepare yourself when you have time, there is no pressure and you can gather the data or just work some stuff out. The more you do before a potential social media crisis, the easier it gets during the issue.
It’s obvious that if you do wrong, you should make it right. The same goes for handling the social media crisis. Unhappy customer? Repair the mistake. Said something stupid? Delete the post. There is no point in confessing and saying you’re sorry if you’re not planning to fic the mistake.
The final touch is giving. You know Gary Vainerchuk, right? He’s always like: give, give, give. And handling social media crisis is also about giving. It doesn’t mean that the gift has to be material or expensive. Sometimes writing a letter can be a good way to cheer up an unhappy client. A sifferent way of giving is to give to those, who needs it: poor kids, animals, some other charity. The main point is the idea and the intentions, rather than a huge present.
That’s it. Was it so hard? No. But when it comes to handling the social media crisis, unfortunately many companies are getting really dumb and forget how to react. And believe me – I’ve seen many cases where brands had been using 5C rule and many more where they hadn’t. Guess who’s been handling it better?
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