5 Tips for a Successful Social Media Crisis Response

The speed, immediacy and reach of social media has forever changed business communications—particularly in a crisis. Social media provides the tools to turn a crisis around and turn detractors into fans. But there are tenets you must follow. Here, David B. Thomas, director of community and social strategy for Salesforce Radian6, provides six crisis response essentials.
  1. Build your networks before you need them: The day the crisis hits is not the day to start connecting with influencers, bloggers, journalists or your community. If you build your social media relationships before a crisis, they will be there when you need them.
  2. Respond quickly: Social media is immediate. When it’s working against you, you must engage within minutes or risk your message vanishing into the maelstrom.
  3. Fix the problem: It’s one thing to say you regret a problem—it’s another to fix it. The best thing you can say (provided it’s true) is, “We understand how this problem occurred, we have resolved it and have taken steps to make sure it never happens again.”
  4. Be human: Social media has changed the expectations your customers have about the way companies communicate. Talk to them as though you were talking to them face to face. Don’t be anonymous or hide behind your logo.
  5. Use the right medium: If you’re being attacked on your company Facebook page, respond there. If someone posts a negative YouTube video about your company, post a video with your response.
PR News Subscribers can read about how American Airlines used Twitter to handle a possible crisis scenario on the tarmac in the case study: "Using Twitter, American Airlines Defuses Security Incident."

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