Even the best companies and small businesses can experience a social media situation where it seems like your whole brand will implode. Blunders and mistakes happen to the best of companies even when their social media teams are highly trained and experienced to handle any manner of situation. There are some key strategies to keep in mind when you are trying to put together a rally that will restore your brand’s confidence.
- The first thing to keep in mind is that this is always a fixable situation. The public these days are quick to leap on an imagined viral disaster but it also has no long term memory and, for the most part, lacks the ability to explore or understand context. Don’t panic and don’t become angry. While you must respond to the potential disaster as soon as possible, allow a short time to pass. Meet with your social media team or firm to discuss ways to defuse the situation so that everyone wins. Becoming defensive will certainly cause alienation and you can’t afford that. People who have a nice experience with you will tell three other people. People who have had a poor experience with you, however, will tell, on the average, seven.
- Don’t make excuses and don’t try to shift the blame. Be transparent and honest. Accept that it was your fault somehow and strive to make the situation right in the eyes of those who felt slighted or damaged. Don’t try and hide the mistake or the blunder. It will make it worse than if you simply ignored the matter. Quite often, a sincere apology as well as a special discount or gift may smooth the ruffled feathers for the long term.
- A social media disaster may not mean the end of your brand but it will take you time to re-build and to re-establish the goodwill that you have been building over the years. The key is to be honest and forthright and to try your very best to make it right so that it may end as a win-win situation for everyone involved.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer