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Andy’s Answers: How to use social media during a product recall

Of all the challenges marketers at major brands face, a product recall can be one of the most difficult. It’s hard on a brand’s reputation, you’re facing lots of negative buzz — and in the worst cases, your product could pose a health risk to your customers.

But great marketers see the opportunities in these kinds of difficult situations. At a recent BlogWell panel, Graco’s Kelly Voelker shared how the company used social media during a product recall to keep customers informed and demonstrate transparency. A few of her great tips:

  • Get ahead of the news. By proactively listening and monitoring in social media, Voelker says you can stay ahead of unexpected issues and identify potential problems before they blow up. Done right, you could spot serious product problems before they get into the hands of too many customers.
  • Get your loyal fans involved. During Graco’s recall — before contacting the media — the company reached out to a bunch of its brand ambassadors and influential bloggers to let them know about the recall and how to educate their readers, followers and friends on what to do.
  • If the community can benefit from it, keep the problem-solving online. Voelker has a great test as to whether to take an issue online or off: If the community can benefit, they’ll try to resolve the issue online. If not, they’ll resolve the issue using offline channels.