There is no denying that social media can improve your startup’s exposure, help you find new customers, and give you a platform to establish your brand name. But it’s important to understand that the opposite can happen, too. The online world can take away opportunities just as fast as it can provide them, and you have to be ready to step in at a moment’s notice if you want to stop minor social media incidents turning into fully-formed catastrophes. Here are some suggestions for tactics you can use to prevent crises occurring for your startup on social media.
When your business closes down at the end of the day, people will still use social media. And if they make a complaint five minutes after you go home, things can escalate pretty fast by the time you open up the next day. As AlertMedia point out, misinformation shared through social media can sometimes do a lot of harm, and unless you have a system in place to put out the first flames, you can expect to get burned. So, make sure you’re monitoring your social media channels at all times, and invest in systems that will notify you of a problem as soon as it happens.
Create A Social Media Policy
Mistakes happen all the time on social media, but they will happen a lot more if you don’t have a coherent plan in place for your employees to reference. It should contain precise details of all kinds of things, from your target audience to information on how to respond to a crisis. Without a plan in place – and strict rules of engagement – your employees are more likely to make mistakes and show your company in a bad light.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Engagement
Some business owners are terrified of responding to complaints on social media, but failure to act can have an adverse impact on your reputation. Your audience will see the claim, of course, but it is your response to the matter and your willingness to resolve the issue that they will remember. With this in mind, start seeing complaints as an opportunity rather than a problem – and start showing your audience how professional and willing you are to come good.
Set Out Your Stall
If you don’t provide a framework – or rules – for your social media followers, you can expect things to get out of hand. Make sure you have a robust procedure in place that explains how you deal with complaints and outline the fact that any bad language or overly-aggressive behavior will be deleted. If you wait until after the event to tell your customers what they can and can’t do, the situation will escalate.
Tell The Truth
Finally, an obvious point, but one that many businesses fail to do – tell the truth. If you are honest about everything you say and do on social media, you will avoid many different crises. Any lie – no matter how little – will end up with you being called out, and your reputation will take a battering.
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