Surviving a Social Media Crisis

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An unhappy customer can reach a lot more people than they used to thanks to social media, so how can you deal with it when it’s your company coming in for criticism?

If you don’t have all the information, publicly acknowledge that you’re looking into it, advises social media consultant Amy Neumann. You don’t want to immediately admit fault, especially if there are potential liability issues, but you don’t always have the luxury of gathering all the information before issuing an initial response.

Post an FAQ on your blog or website to make whatever information you have readily available. Not only will that help reassure customers, but it will help defuse speculation on public forums like Facebook and Twitter. And a forum on your own site could help people vent in a less public way and give you a chance to address their concerns.

If it turns out you were at fault, let people know what concrete steps you’re taking to prevent future problems. It’s not enough just to blandly promise to do better.

If your company wasn’t at fault, respond with the facts and avoid appearing defensive or attacking your critics. Assure the public that you remain committed to your brand’s quality and ideals.

Adapted from 6 Steps to Survive a Social Media Crisis by Joe Taylor Jr. at Small Business Computing.