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Make sure you’ve done everything you need to before disaster strikes and are aware of the steps you can take if you’re in a crisis, and share them with your team as soon as the event occurs. Every brand should have a crisis communication plan so that when a crisis strikes so they will know who the backup contacts are, especially in a social media strategy, and won’t be caught in a panic. The worst time to start planning is when you’re in the middle of a crisis, so pre-crisis planning is a key to successful mitigation, and there are several elements to it.Being unsurprised is integral to operating a business if you find yourself in the middle of a social media crisis, especially if you decide to tackle it yourself. Here’s how to stay ready.
- Create a crisis management team
You need to know at all times who is responsible for identifying potential crises, who will manage social media and who will be handling messages, as well as which executive will act as a spokesperson. You need a good mix of personnel from management as well as some creative people and a lawyer, to build your team. Then, think about what crisis you might face.
- Don’t take it personal
It is not enough to cool off later, it is important that the critical moments are handled with a calm voice in order to de-escalate.
- Comprehensive social listening
Set up a listening program so you can most effectively monitor conversations with a tool, as well as chatter by setting up keyword searches, but be aware that technology is only as good as its operators. Watch for spikes in conversation, mainly when someone is Tweeting over and over, check accounts with large follower counts and watch if people are using negative hashtags. Be sure you have comprehensive social listening set up and consider tracking relevant influencers because you can use this information for future campaigns. Sentiment analysis can help you, so check if you’re seeing a negative shift as soon as possible.