When it comes to brand crises and social media, negativity can spread like wildfire and this can be extremely damaging. Unlike days gone by where word of mouth would cause some damage, social media brings thousands of people together and so the damage can be irreversible.
Therefore, any negativity will need to be changed to positivism and this is where social media can also play a huge part. If you can sway the negative image into one that is positive, your brand will reap the rewards. So what steps should you take to use social media to work in favour of your brand?
While it is extremely important to fix what is wrong, you will have to identify the positives. In order to undo any damage caused by negativity you need work proactively to create an environment that can only produce positive thoughts and feedback.
This can begin with creating a positive culture and working environment. If your employees are happy and satisfied they will deliver a service that will keep customers happy. This reduces any possible damage but it will also boost your brand in a positive way.
Next, you have to train your employees to use social media in the correct way because they represent your company and brand. Giving them access is not enough because they should be trained in how to use them properly, sending the right messages will help your brand to grow.
Social media is a 24/7 thing. When one side of the world is actively using social media, the other side of the world is tucked up in bed and so it never stops. However, actively monitoring social media around the clock will alert you to any problems and negativity that cause damage to your business. Should any problems occur and you pick up on tweets or posts between customer and readers you can nip it in the bud.
When problems arise, customers will quickly begin to question your business and should there be questions unanswered, customers will fill the gaps with their own beliefs and thoughts. This highlights the importance of responding to issues quickly, even if it is just to acknowledge the problem. Communication is the key and so, ensure that all of your employees understand the problem and are aware of the same message. Once that message changes, make sure all involved know. The public will see that you are dealing with the problem and it will also bring your employees together with a feeling that they everyone is in this together.
If a problem arises then the damage can quickly mothball and grow to something that cannot be repaired. Reacting quickly to any problems online, in an attempt to solve them will mean that you keep your reputation intact. This will turn a potential negative situation into one that is positive because you will soon see people tweeting, posting and blogging about how you care as a brand and a business.
The world in which we live is driven by technology. The brand image of a company belongs to the consumer and this means that social media is a tool that can help your company because you can learn, communicate and grow and this shows that you are a company that is flexible in every way.
There are many channels available to consumers in which they can discuss your brand and if you are not in the same channels you cannot influence their thoughts or feelings and you won’t know what they are saying.
Also do not be afraid to use social media to issue an apology if you make a mistake. Honesty is the best policy.
Occasionally, the best action to take is none at all – especially at the early stage of any issues and negativity around your brand. Acting quickly and on an impulse can lead to further problems so have a crisis strategy that you can put into use quickly and effectively.
Build a team of employees that you can trust and a team that is happy to work around the clock when you need them. This way you can look at the problem, evaluate it and then develop a response.
There are many tools available that can help you to assess the situation such as Google, Bloch, Twitter search as well as a myriad of other tools. Track the sources and see how things develop because things can change extremely quickly in the online world.