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Monday, March 8, 2010

DIY Tips: How to Use Social Media in a Crisis

Posted by @ 9:46 pm

social-mediaLast week I explained how to Monitor, Listen & Respond to social media comments as part of my overview of the Media140 conference. This week, we will look at how social media sites can be used as an effective crisis management tool.

The rise of social media sites has given customers a new avenue to talk about your company and in turn a new way for you to reach your customers quickly.

The general practice when a crisis hits your company, affecting your customers, is to deal with it quickly. Social media sites now give you an outlet to explain the crisis and your response almost instantly.

A tip from the experts at the recent Media140 conference was to not sugar-coat your response to customers in a crisis.

Here is how media training expert, Gemma Tognini explained it:

Authenticity is the only currency acceptable when in a crisis.

So don’t lie to your customers, tell it to them straight and they will appreciate it. If you don’t tell them the truth then they will simply go looking for the truth online.

Dena Vassallo from public relations firm, PPR, explained it as the “surprise and delight factor”. If you fix any problems quickly & openly in these forums through conversation with the customer, then not only will they be surprised at how open you have been but they will also be delighted by the fast response. By resolving these problems so publicly any other followers will appreciate this also and it will likely build more trust in your brand.

Being able to respond quickly to any issues that arise comes back to the 3 principles I outlined last week – monitor, listen & respond. Monitor what is being said online about your company, listen to what these people are saying and respond in a truthful and timely manner.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

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