Social media has connected the world and has provided a platform for consumers and businesses to engage, publicly and privately on an open platform. This provides great opportunity for all involved, and also great risk.
A social media crisis management strategy is critical for businesses of any nature or scale and should be considered very seriously and with high priority. This strategy will assist your company in navigating a potential social media crisis, providing pre-prepared guides and best practices to weather the storm. Effectively anyone is at risk and everyone should be prepared where we should all hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.
How to mitigate online risk:
1. Hire skilled social media managers, whether in-house or outsourced, who are able to identify a potential storm. They will act as your early warning system; however, it is also important to note that not every negative comment is a crisis and so a grading and escalation system should be decided ahead of time.
2. Draft, review and implement social media policies for all employees within your organisation. Education is key, so ensure to upskill your staff to keep themselves safe online and your company free from risk. Your team will also need to know what to do in the event of an online crisis.
3. Implement an employee advocacy program where you upskill and enable your employees to be first line of contact. Equip them to be able to refer potential clients within their network, respond to queries and detect any potential crisis on the horizon.
4. Consider industry scenarios that could expose your business to online scrutiny and prepare for these ahead of time. Ensure your organisation is able to be agile in these instances and implement processes to support this.
5. The best way to mitigate risk is to be transparent and truthful. Clients, customers and consumers want to feel like you have their best interest at heart and know that where they are investing, they feel valued.
It is important to be prepared and recommended to enlist the support of a team of professionals to assist in implementing a robust social media crisis management strategy. Consider your legal team, HR Managers, PR consultants and social media specialists to assist and also ensure that they are agile to respond and support in the event of an online crisis.
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