Have you ever had one of those days where it feels like the universe is conspiring to make you or your brand look like the hell-bent villain in a poorly-edited 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger film, leaving you feeling perplexed and overwhelmed?
Breathe, relax: it can happen to everyone. Fortunately, when that universe is the social media version of it, and you have Radian6 as your lifeline, you can stay on top of the issue.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of the tools available, and make every minute matter.
1. Keyword configuration first
There is no point in responding right away to the first few posts that raised the issue to your attention before you see the bigger picture. Rather, use those to set up your Topic Profile with relevant keywords, and try to foresee other subjects that are likely to emerge later on. Most corporate crises – large or small – will at some point provoke calls for an apology, protests, petitions, boycotts, etc. It may pay off to already include such terms right at the start.
2. Use ‘their’ language
There is no love lost between dictionaries and social media. Adapt your keywords groups and your search criteria to the speech and writing patterns of the relevant group of individuals. Also include typical spelling mistakes and abbreviations.
3. Be mindful of foreign languages
Social media will make your audience speak, but it isn’t going to make them speak English. Viral posts do not only spread across various platforms at an astonishing speed, our globalised world also ensures it will get translated and cross borders. Anticipate that, especially if your brand is represented internationally, and translate all your keywords and your official statements.
4. Find the source of the posts
It may help you in your research and renders credibility to any clarification you send out.
5. Identify influencers
The Radian6 influencer widget or the Klout score option in the Engagement Console do a great job on that point. Respond to the posts about you and your brand, and ask users to correct any inaccurate statements they made. Nobody’s perfect, and when approached in a reasonable way, they will probably be happy to do so.
6. Reach out to the expert communities online
Don’t just communicate on your own website and official social media platform. Whatever the subject of the matter at hand, there will be dedicated forums or Facebook pages for it, and they provide access to the relevant influencers.
7. Make your official statement shareable.
This may sound obvious, but is often forgotten. It is far easier for your audience to hit ‘retweet’ than it is to read and link a website.
8. Show you care about more than just your legal exposure.
When multitudes of people are upset, they usually identify with values you fully endorse as well. Communicate that in a sincere and human way, and it will resonate throughout the social media platforms.
For some more tips, check out 5 Social Media Crisis Communications Lessons from the FedEx Video. Any tips you’d add? Let us know in the comments below.