What Is Your Business’ Social Media Crisis Response Plan?

March 7, 2017
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What Can We Learn From Trump’s Tweets Regarding a Social Media Crisis Response Plan?

Donald Trump’s use of social media to air his grievances with corporate America is making many businesses very nervous. As Nordstrom recently learned, the President is willing to use his personal twitter account as well as the official @POTUS account to target companies that he believes have wronged him, his family or the country.Why Your Business Should Have a Social Media Crisis Response PlanIn Trump’s most publicized corporate twitter attack, the President tweeted that Nordstrom had been “unfair” to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, for dropping her clothing and accessories line from their department stores. In response, the department store chain stated that the strictly business decision was prompted by poor sales. Although Nordstrom’s stock price dropped in the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s tweet, it rapidly rebounded.

Tips for Managing a Social Media Crisis

While President Trump is certainly one of the world’s most powerful social media users, a simple customer complaint can also go viral and have similar effects. No matter what has caused the social media crisis, it is imperative for businesses to have a comprehensive and tested crisis management plan in place.

Below are a few basic tips:

  • Be proactive

The most damaging social media crisis is the one you didn’t see coming. It is important to monitor social media regularly. If you do not have the marketing department or resources to hire a staff to continually watch what’s being said about your company online, there are software programs that will do it for you. These programs are cost effective and provide basic alerts of potential social media dilemmas.

  • Be prepared to act quickly

Given the speed of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, something that happens on Twitter or Facebook can quickly become national news. Having prepared responses that have been vetted by your top executives, as well as marketing, public relations and legal teams, can help slow the momentum and ensure that the other side does not get all the media attention.

  • Create a consistent message

Rather than posting different messages on each social media platform, create a FAQ page on your company website that addresses the main issues, including what happened and how the company is responding. The ability for your staff and the media to reference the web page decreases the risk that your message will get misinterpreted or lost in the shuffle.

  • Show restraint

It is easy to get swept up in a back and force exchange on social media. However, a Twitter war is rarely beneficial for your company and could lead to posts that you may later regret. Make sure all responses are accurate, fair and well thought out.

  • Never underestimate the power of “I’m sorry.”

The American public has proven to be very forgiving. If your company made a mistake, acknowledge it, offer an apology, and outline a corrective action plan as to how you intend to fix or address the issue.

Do you have any questions regarding the crafting of a social media crisis response? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Michael Jimenez, at 201-806-3364.