We all know that feeling when you accidentally like someone’s Instagram picture from 6 years ago…complete panic. But, you are just one person and this mishap will be forgotten about in a day. Imagine being a large company and facing a social media disaster that will be remembered for years. You do not want this incident to change the reputation of your brand. Whether it was the intern thinking they were posting to their personal account or a negligent insensitive opinion posted to your social platforms, these incidents also result in complete panic. First things first, be transparent and be quick. It is so important to speak the truth and be cooperative. Apologies can only go so far during a social media crisis. Being open and concerned is key; putting up barriers and acting defensive will only dig you deeper into the hole. Stay with the facts and do not ever lie to your audience. Honesty is always the best policy and you will only gain respect if you handle this blunder with grace and professionalism.
Since these problems hit unexpectedly it would be wise to set up a crisis management plan. In the moment it feels as if there is a loss of control, which is why being prepared is so important. Having a plan for delivering your apology and message would only help you respond more quickly and openly. It is necessary to educate your company on what to do if an unexpected crisis arises. All employees should be on the same page and have one spokesperson. This is ideal because the message will be uniform across all platforms.
The easiest way to take the stress out of the moment: hire a professional. Trusting professionals on managing your social reputation will always be the surefire way to go. When crisis hits, it is comforting to know a dedicated team is already working to protect your name.