Happy Halloween! In light of the festivity of the day, I thought I’d scare you a little.
Just kidding! But I am going to let you in on 8 scary truths about social media crises. 8 ultimate reasons why your business or organization should be prepared and protected with a custom social media crisis communications plan.
So here you are… 8 scary truths about social media crises
1- A social media or online crisis can strike when you least expect it. This could mean with the launch of a hopeful campaign, after technical malfunctions that are not your fault, by an unhappy customer with a big, loud voice and a video camera, or by distasteful competitors who start a smear campaign about your brand.
2- Social media crises have a high risk potential of damaging your brand’s reputation for the long-term in a very short period of time.
3- When not responded to properly or in a timely manner, social media crises have a tendency to continue to grow and spiral out of control, increasing the damaging impact it may have on your brand.
4- Social media crises do not go away or resolve themselves on their own. They continue to grow and spiral out of control until either a) your brand is shown in the most negative of lights or, b) you do something about it.
5- Social media crises risk having a strong negative emotional impact on your clients, their friends and family, your staff, fans, followers and online viewers. These strong negative emotions often result in undesired and viral negative impacts on your brand.
6- Information can change regularly and quickly in a social media crisis and rumors, speculation and misinformation are not uncommon.
7- Just because you’ve already experienced a social media crisis before, doesn’t mean that you won’t experience one again… and again.
8- You are not immune to a social media crisis. The most you can be is prepared.
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you with just the negatives!
The upside to a social media crisis is that, by being prepared with the right crisis communications plan, you actually give your brand a huge competitive edge. Why? Because when responded to appropriately and in a timely manner, social media crises can often be turned into a positive PR opportunity for your Brand. This means that you can, not only survive a social media crisis, but you can come out of it with even more loyal clients, fans and an even stronger, positive brand reputation than you had going in. Just ask KitchenAid!
Happy Halloween to you all. Remember to stay safe and prepared with a crisis management plan fit for this digital era!
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.