Most Social Media professionals lack a very important and key aspect of Social Media; Crisis Management. The Social Media is an informal platform for bonding with fans and customers, and consequentially, bringing about increase in sales of goods and services. But Crisis Management is a dark part where most Nigerian brands and Social Media professionals have failed in.
Any crisis that hasn’t occurred to a brand has a high rate of occurrence. It’s just a matter of time. Unfortunately, negative news sells the best in this part of the world. This is not supposed to get you scared, just prepared. We will be sharing some tips with you as you engage in Social Media campaigns for brands and even in marketing your services;
- Get a Social Media expert with PR functionalities: Most brands in Nigeria, believe that the Social Media is an advertising platform. Well, it can be regarded as one of the advertising platforms that you have around, but the Social Media is a Public Relations tool. There is a way your brand is supposed to be perceived online, and it takes a PR professional to understand that. From the construction of discussions on the platforms, to the campaigns and how well they are visible to potential customers and online users in general is a PR campaign.
- Once there’s a crisis, monitor it: Once a crisis has occurred, don’t just stand there and look. Monitor it! This is the most important part of a crisis management campaign because it gives you the full understanding of what the crisis is really about. Most times, you get what you need to solve the crisis by only monitoring and listening. There are different tools for Monitoring mentions and topics on Social Media (insert hyperlink to another story). This should be done with immense precision because; in as much as this is very helpful, too much time spent on monitoring can be very fatal and more damaging to the brand.
- Engage with caution: A brand has been blacklisted in a funny situation which has gone viral. You want to clear the air on the issue. Never get defensive or offensive. This is a NO-NO! Being defensive sends two wrong signals to the online user. It’s either you are lying and want to cover your tracks, or you are just being pompous and arrogant. Either way, this isn’t good for the image of the brand. Be clear on what you want to say and address it to the letter WITHOUT indicting anyone. Engage with the aim of regaining the trust of your fans and customers, rather than retaining the image of your brand. Your brand won’t be as successful as it is without customers.
- Keep everyone informed, don’t keep mute: From our analysis of the online media, the average customer will make negative remarks about a brand if he/she believes that the brand will pay no attention. A simple ‘we are on top of the situation and will get back to you in due time’ can work wonders and calm the nerves of your fans and customers. When other are releasing news about your brand, a wide number of your fans won’t believe till they have heard from you. Answer each and every query on your Social network during that period within the shortest time possible; even if it is a with-holding statement. And when you promise to get back to them, always do. That retains their trust in your brand.
- Never fully admit when you are wrong. Weigh the options carefully: We know you all must have read everywhere about always admitting your faults. We strongly advise against it. Here’s what can happen when you admit totally. You can either damage your brand image beyond repairs, or lose most of your customers. We Nigerians are the most skeptical people on this planet. If they did this before, what is the assurance that they won’t do this again? Also, the day you admit to a fault, your SEO rank on Google (Search Engine Optimization) is badly affected with negative stories. Weigh the options very well before coming out to the public to admit that it was your fault.
- Continue normal services and operations like nothing happened: Ok, a staff was sacked as a result of this mishap, do not let that get public. Constantly work on getting yourself out of the news as quickly as possible by going on with normal processes. It’ll definitely take some time, but it takes lots of work and efforts.
- Work with popular online gossips: There is a huge difference between online bodies and online gossips. Online bodies are known for releasing factual and very true stories. Online gossips will not bother to check and verify. But the real truth is that, online gossips have the higher amount of visits. Always try to have these online gossips at your beck and call every time and initiate a relationship with them. Once there’s a crisis, your first point of call is to the various online gossips.
FRSC Case Study.
The Social Media is getting increasingly important in our everyday lives. It has no boundaries or control. The best method to controlling this platform is to get ready and put everything in place before it occurs.