Is Your Brand Prepared for Social Media Outrage?

Ask Yourself These 6 Readiness Questions

American and United Airlines are just two recent examples of major brands under very costly public assault from social media.  In today’s highly connected and camera-filled world, any misstep a brand makes can come under instant and pervasive scrutiny, judgment, and public outcry.

Social media outrage can strike any brand or organization at any time. The world is covered by smartphone cameras and huge numbers of people eager to capture anything to publish before any facts are verified. Everyone is a journalist with an opinion. Add to this the many angry individuals filled with outrage and want to express themselves and the others that simply like to throw gasoline on the fire.

The world we now live in is one of instantaneous worldwide commentary.

While it can sometimes feel like a fueling accelerant, social media is an opportunity as well as a challenge in a crisis situation. Brands have an opportunity to handle a difficult situation with transparency and to speak to the public with sincerity, concern, and respect.  Social media can provide brands the same pervasive channel to assure customers and those “on the fence” of the brand promise.  Handled properly, a crisis can become an opportunity to win brand fans and to live up to a brand’s promise.

Social Media Outrage

How can brands respond accordingly when a social media crisis happens?

Be prepared. Be honest. Be transparent.

Below are six questions you can ask yourself about your preparedness.

1. Do you have a comprehensive “Crawl-Walk-Run” Crisis Communication Plan?

2. Who is the team or one person accountable to execute and call all the shots?

3. What are your priority first steps?

4. Do you execute with a fault tree?

5. Will you monitor with real-time data-driven market intelligence tools?

6. Do you use data aligning collaboration for inside and outside teams?

Having a pre-developed Social Media Crisis Strategy Plan is essential to today’s world. Knowing what you should do, how you should do it, and having the infrastructure to monitor and respond to messages is key to brand success when a crisis hits unexpectedly.

USDM has handled many crisis situations in cities and states across the country. We have a playbook and a methodology for brands and organizations and we have case studies to prove the successful outcomes. I always say, Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan. Contact us for a complimentary conversation on this topic or others dealing with social media strategy for brands and organizations.


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