When a company is facing a crisis, silence is never the answer. Averting your eyes from the troubles can only do you damage. You need to provide support to people as they are trying to make out the arising issues. That support can be rapidly provided thanks to social media.
Even if you are aware of social media’s influence, addressing a crisis on these platforms can feel like walking on eggshells. One wrong move can put your company’s reputation at risk. The stakes are high, but playing the no-comment card can have just as a negative effect on your image.
Are you still unsure about social media’s role in a crisis? It is time to clear that up.
Understanding the importance of active communication on social media during real-life emergencies is the first step towards developing a strategy. So, let’s revise what makes social media communication essential.
1. Social Media Has the Widest Reach
It is estimated that there are 4.2 billion social media users worldwide. With each passing year, more people make social media platforms a part of their daily lives.
What does this mean for companies? It means that social media is their best bet for reaching the widest number of people as fast as possible.
2. Social Media Is People’s Go-to Source of Information
According to an IDC research report, around 80% of smartphone users check their mobile phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up every morning. The possibility that they’ll go to your website first thing in the morning is low. Therefore, if you want to communicate your message promptly, do it through social media.
While dispersing your standpoint across different channels is a good strategy, social media is on the first line of defense. Since most people will find out about the crisis on social media platforms, you should use it as a tool for active, efficient, and fast communication.
3. Social Media Is the First One “On the Scene”
Social media follows the crisis updates by a minute. Insignia Communication reported that 77% of journalists use social media to quickly learn about potential stories. Once a single individual creates a post about a crisis, the news goes viral. That is why even journalists use it as a source of information.
Social media is always up to speed with new information and this can give you an advantage. You can keep up with the issues as they emerge and react promptly.
4. Social Media Content Can Be Repurposed for Your Website
The content you post on social media can be available on your website as well, allowing you to feed two birds with one scone. How is it possible? With the help of a social wall.
Use a social wall to display social media content on your website. As you make regular updates on social media, the posts will pop up on the wall on your website.
Creating a social wall takes only a few minutes, and you’ll save a ton of time for not having to write different content for the website.
5. Social Media Allows for Emotional Support
The nature of social media content is more casual and friendly than other brand channels (such as email for example). If you want to connect with the audience, express your emotions, and support them, social media is the place to do it.
Try to look beyond creating informative content. This is your chance to present yourself as the brand that cares. Utilize the power of social media to communicate messages of support and understanding.
6. Social Media Enables Two Way Communication
Social media platforms aren’t a one-way street. They allow open communication with the audience. For that reason, social media is the ideal solution for reviewing and responding to consumers’ doubts.
This may be the greatest value of social media. You can hear what troubles people directly from them. By allowing consumers to ask questions and respond to your posts, you can understand their viewpoint and create content that addresses their concerns.
The Best Social Media Practices During A Real-World Crisis
The reason for social media communication during a crisis is clarified. But what about the how?
How should you express yourself and have a consistent online presence in delicate situations? That’s what we are about to discuss.
Consider these tips to prepare and develop an effective social media communication plan for a crisis.
1. Create a crisis communication plan
Preparation will ensure that a crisis doesn’t blindside you. Achieving a fast and suitable response will be easier when you have a developed crisis communication plan within your reach.
So, gather your media team and start outlining key steps. This plan should act as a guide for the whole team if a crisis arises.
2. Revise your social media calendar
Your social media calendar will have to go through a notable change. Sticking to your scheduled posts will make you seem indifferent. No company can afford to be presented as insensitive. Therefore, it’s time for a revision of your scheduled content.
Revise the social media calendar in detail. Pause any posts that can be perceived as inconsiderate. Your content across all platforms must be aligned with the current situation.
3. Be available
Don’t be surprised when direct messages start coming in. As overwhelming as it can be, this is not the time to pull the blinds down.
You need to show support to people who need help or ask for information. If a brand they love doesn’t step up when things get hard, the trust people had will be shaken.
4. Turn to social media listening
To respond to the situation in focus properly, you need to keep up with what’s happening and how people are responding. Social media listening can give you an inside look into the world’s and users’ response to the crisis.
Base your outreach on the information you collect. You can observe people’s comments and posts and address the most repeated worries and doubts.
4. Prepare templates
Your team will be more efficient if you provide them with a foundation for social media communication. Templates are a good option for speeding things up in a time of crisis.
Assign your team a task to outline outreach templates for emergencies. If you don’t have the right person for the job on the team, outsource help. Hire a freelance writer or academic writing service. You can check out PapersOwl to get a better understanding of the versatility of academic services.
5. Show compassion and honesty
Bear in mind that the truth always comes out. It is better that people hear it from you.
If you are doubtful about how to approach social media communication, let these two words guide you: compassion and honesty. Show the world that you care and retain people’s trust with truthful information.
Social media is an immensely valuable communication tool for connecting with the audience quickly. Considering that speed is essential in handling a crisis, you shouldn’t lessen the relevance of social media.
Now that you know how social media can be of help, employ it in your strategy. Use the power of this communication tool to nurture your relationship with consumers even when things get hard.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at GetGoodGrade with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.