Once a social media crisis presents itself, or has the potential of presenting itself, hopefully you’ll be made aware of its presence within minimal time (this requires an active monitoring system), and will have undergone some form of preparation and training in order to know if, when and how to respond and react properly. From there, you’ll continue to monitor the online situation, responding and reacting accordingly until it dissipates and becomes a thing of the past, another lesson to learn and grow from. But how can you be sure of the appropriate time to declare the crisis as officially being “over”, and go back to business as usual?
Now, of course every situation is different, but a good rule of thumb to use as as base is to:
- Wait for the negative online conversations around the issue to have ceased for a period of 72 hours or more
- Make sure that a big change in sentiment towards your brand and/or the issue has taken place, the change being from negative to neutral, or better yet to positive
- Be certain that there is little to no chance that the crisis or issue will swiftly pick itself back up and/or go viral
If all three of the above criteria have been met, then chances are you can go ahead and declare the crisis as being “over”. However, just because the crisis is over, doesn’t mean your crisis team doesn’t still have work cut out for them. Once an online or social media crisis has come to an end, it’s time to document the events that took place in chronological order, evaluate your entire team’s performance throughout the crisis, adapt and strengthen your social media crisis plan and go through another round of training.