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Andy’s Answers: How to prepare for a social media crisis

What would you do if a couple of rogue employees created a YouTube video of them doing something inappropriate on the job? How would you respond if a bunch of bloggers attacked your latest ad campaign? What if someone launched a fake Twitter account using your brand name? One thing is clear: You don’t need to be present for a social media crisis to occur, and ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Instead, be ready to handle the hiccups by committing to being prepared.

What to do:

  • Build the credibility before you need it. Start earning the trust, respect, and the benefit of doubt from customers long before an issue arises. If you do it right, your fans will show up first to defend you.
  • Be prepared to quickly share your story. Telling your side of an issue quickly and in an authentic way takes away the power of the detractors and the gossipers.
  • Plan for internal communication, too. If an issue gets big, expect employees to face lots of questions. If you don’t give them an internal outlet to ask questions and learn what’s going on, you risk an external outlet on their own blogs and social networks.