We see it happen all the time, social media crises break out, the brands are unprepared and the angry crowd takes control of their social media channel - and the brand. Some brands manage to recover quickly, while others continue to be blogged about and made examples of.
But did you know that simply having an established blog can help protect you from all of that negativity taking over? Even without a crisis plan your blog can help you regain control of the situation and put an end to the crisis, while coming out of it with minimum repercussions.
Now doesn’t that sound like something you can get on board with?! Especially since being PSers you’re already half way there! Well hold on to your keyboards ladies and gentlemen, because you’ve got a powerful tool up your sleeve and now it’s just a matter of knowing how to use it!
1- Utilize your most powerful tool - your voice
Being an avid blogger you’ve already found it and are on your way to perfecting it, and believe it or not, it’s that same voice that will help dig you out of a crisis. With an established blog you’ve already spent the time developing a voice of authority, one that people trust and enjoy. You’re not entering a crisis with zero recognition and attempting to speak loud and strong. By using it to your advantage in a crisis, your voice will continue to resonate with your audience and their respect won’t waver.
2- The network that will come to your defense
As a preventative measure, one of the first rules of thumb in your social media crisis plan is to build up a strong network before you find yourself faced with a social media attack. And guess what, those loyal readers you’ve earned are your network!
By nurturing this network on a regular basis, you’ve developed loyal fans who, given the opportunity, will come to your defense during a crisis, helping you regain control of the situation by adding positive perspectives to the negativity flooding in.
3- There’s no guessing in knowledge
Not only do you have a solid network of loyal readers, but with time you’ve come to know these readers. They’re not just a bunch of faceless, nameless beings. They’re real people whose faces you see day after day in the comments section of your blog. With time you’ve grown to know each one and built a real relationship with them.
This means that once you’re faced with a crisis, you’ll have the advantage of knowing who you’re talking to. You’ll understand what they’re feeling and what they expect of you, giving yourself the advantage of meeting their needs straight away, while continuing to connect with them and strengthening your bond.
4- FAQ your way to amnesty
One of the biggest and most strategic steps in your social media crisis plan is setting up an informative FAQ, answering all possible questions about the crisis and your brand.
Although your FAQ can be published to your corporate website or it’s own Facebook tab, nothing gives it as much power or potential as having an established blog to publish it on.
Tip: Don’t forget to enable those comments so that people may continue the conversation, voice their opinions, ask questions - all while providing your still-happy customers with that platform to come to your defense.
5- The rankings you’ve worked hard for
It takes time to rank high within the search engines, but it’s a known fact that a regular and consistent blog is a definite means to that end. Being an avid blogger has probably already began to prove itself useful in the SEO department. Now consider the SEO advantages your official statement and FAQ will gain from - allowing your content to be found by a maximum number of searchers, while positioning you as a credible and reliable source of information.
6- Feed the headlines
Reporters and bloggers who want to cover the crisis will look to your website or blog first. By having an established blog and by providing timely and accurate details about the crisis as it unfolds, reporters and bloggers will have a credible source to follow and look to for details regarding the crisis - from a platform that you control. You won’t have to worry about less-than-truthful information hitting the headlines when they’re all subscribed to your blog and FAQ.
7- Take advantage of your social proof
An active blog with lots of posts, high rankings and best yet, lots of engagement, provides you with an instant air of credibility to those new-comers migrating to your site during a crisis. Looking for answers and resolution, they’ll find a whole level of social proof instilling them with a sense of trust and the message that your brand “gets it” and is worth hearing out.
The secret unveiled
The key is to leverage all the hard work you’ve already put into developing a resourceful blog and using it to empower your brand in it’s time of need. The goal in a crisis is to come out of it quickly, with the least amount of repercussions to your business as possible. You’ve already developed a platform, an audience, rankings and credibility. Now it’s just a matter of using them to your advantage in a crisis to come out of if even stronger, with an impenetrable bond with your readers.
Talk about a reason to love your blog even more!
How about you?…
Have you ever experienced a social media crisis, and if so, how did you utilize your blog to aid you in regaining control of the situation? Share your comments below!