The Speed of Social Media:
It Can't Be Ignored
In recent weeks, a number of social media crisis situations have been in the spotlight on a national basis. These crisis situations can happen in an instant. Most, but not all, national brands realize this. Unfortunately, that realization often falls off fast for regional and local businesses; but social media can't be ignored.
If you have a crisis where the flames are being fanned by social media, you'll need to respond quickly, in a genuine manner, and in the platform where the crisis unfolds. So, if it's Facebook, you'll need to take to Facebook. If it's another platform, respond accordingly. Try to get out in front of it. The basics of crisis management apply: explaining what happened, why it happened and what you're going to do about it. If an apology is in order, apologize but don't make excuses. Chances are, you'll be dealing with emotions and emotions are always more powerful than facts. That knowledge should help shape your response. Rally your supporters and employees to help.
Facing a social media attack is never pleasant and rarely simple to deal with; but it can be done. If you feel overwhelmed by it all, bring in professional help. Having an outside perspective and expertise can make a difference. Above all, take action to resolve it and get back to business as soon as possible.