Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Social Media Crisis Management 101

Everybody has a different definition of a crisis.  For some people a crisis could be a slow barista as Starbucks, for others it could be sending out a tweet to everyone instead of a DM.

If you are responsible for your companies social media then crisis management will inevitably come up.  It does not have to be a daunting task to handle.  Here is a simple framework to start with:
  1. Listening - ensure you are getting all mentions of your brand/products from the web coming into someone in your org.  That person has to manage the flow and be able to spot issues soon after they arise.  There are free tools like Google Alerts and paid ones like Radian6 that handle this.
  2. Escalation - there should be a direct line from first notice(the Listener) all the way to CEO if needed.  These people need to be informed and trained to understand what a crisis looks like.  An example tactic here would be to have a designated subject line for a crisis like ATTN: CUSTOMER NEEDS HELP ASAP ON TWITTER so when that e-mail comes in they know they need to act fast.
  3. Actions - who is responsible for responding?  It may not be the person with the best knowledge to address the crisis but this person can ankle bite the right people to get the right response.  Without a person designated with the task of sending a tweet or writing a Facebook post this whole process can grind to a halt.
I present the above as a mental framework for social media crisis management.  You should then flesh this out with specifics that suite your company size and needs.
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