How to Address A Business Crisis Through Social Media

Aug 2015
Photo Cred: @kittitodd

Just like it’s important to train your employees on what to do in case of a fire, having an online protocol in place before a real life disaster can prevent your Facebook feed from flooding with questions and concerns. By following the acronym D.R.I.N.K., you can teach your staff to address your fans and followers in a way that keeps your company in control of your online presence.

Here is a guide to digging your business out of that difficult time and also a friendly reminder to stay hydrated!

Designate a point person to answer online questions. By appointing that person before something goes wrong, you will save time and clear up confusion during an already stressful time. It is also important to have a single person in charge to avoid multiple employees jumping in at once or, worse, no one responding at all.

Respond to customer questions as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence and the sooner you can respond to any online inquiries, the sooner the crisis will dissolve. You don’t have to have all of the answers at once, but acknowledging the question with a quick response will go a long way. For example, “Thank you for reaching out to us. We are doing everything we can to resolve the issue.” This shows your customers you care about their concerns, you are aware of the issues and you are actively working to improve the situation.

Initiate new developments in the crisis and post updates online to let your customers know you are working on a solution. Staying transparent through the crisis will help your company gain your customers’ trust and respect in the long run. One small cover up could cause a minor issue to balloon into a major scandal. By taking an active role in these updates you can curb the number of customer complaints you get.

Nip any rumors about the crisis as quickly as possible. Don’t try to sweep any gossip under the rug. For example, say you own a bank and it got robbed and customers are saying on Facebook that an employee was wounded in a shootout when in reality no weapons were involved. You don’t want to post something like “no one was shot.” Instead, focus on the positive by writing “all of our employees are safe and accounted for; we are working with police to catch the suspect.”

Know the crisis is only temporary and your business can survive it. In life – and online – there are no guarantees that everything is going to be easy, but remember, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react.

Once you have finished your D.R.I.N.K. steps and weathered the social media storm, you need to continue this caliber of timely responses with your fans. Check out our three tips for managing your online reputation.

And, for more tips on handling your social media, check out our Facebook page.

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