Let’s face it. No one wants to be the one to have to deal with a crisis situation when it comes up. Whether it’s an unruly customer or an internet troll, this kind of community management just isn’t fun. But, there are steps that can be made to help ensure a smooth crisis communication plan. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Post Community Guidelines: Community Guidelines are a critical element to any good crisis communication plan. You want to make sure that your audience clearly knows and understands the rules for your social media platform. That way, if you ever have someone violating them, you can go back and reference those guidelines and make a plan of action moving forward.
- Document your FAQs: Every brand or company has pain points or frequently asked questions that they get on their social. If you’re a food brand it is likely questions about your ingredients, if you are a medical facility maybe it is about insurance. Take the time to make a list of these FAQs. As new questions come in, add them to the document. Eventually you will not be surprised with new questions.
- Create Pre-Approved Responses: This one goes hand in hand with #3. Once you have the FAQs and pain points, work on developing some pre-written responses to use as guidelines. Obviously you don’t want to be so generic as to copy and paste these responses each time you get a question or complaint, but this will be a good place for you to start in a time of need. It also ensures you’ll remain consistent over time and your team will always be on the same page.
- Act Fast: Crisis communication is all about putting out the fire before it spreads. Make sure you act in a timely manner but don’t rush. Be careful and strategically plan out your response so you don’t make the problem worse.
- Get a Professional: Social media crisis communication is not for the faint of heart. You want to make sure you have the right team of people on your side when you need it. A good community manager will know how to deal with a crisis when it comes up.
Crisis communication is an important part of your overall social media strategy. Make sure you have the right steps in place to handle any and all issues that might come your way.