Social media crisis is a reality and a great risk that many SaaS companies face today. Companies are vulnerable to online attacks, which can have a negative influence on the brand’s reputation. There are two things that can cause a social media crisis.
The first one are external factors, such as natural disasters, human tragedies, or other things related to your industry, which can cause people to reach out to your social media accounts.
Second, inappropriate tweets, posts or pictures that can cause social media crisis for your SaaS company. In either case, the result is that your social media accounts may explode and will have some effects on your reputation.
If you ignore social media crisis, it will get worse and worse. So, instead of ignoring it, you need to implement some strategies to handle social media crisis. Here are some of them:
Developing a plan
You need to be prepared for the crisis, before its arrival. Try to map out what you need to have for responding to a social media crisis beforehand. Do brainstorming with your team, in order to come up with different scenarios, which can cause social media crisis. In this case, it will be much easier for you to take control of any situation.
Moreover, make sure to create a social media committee, which involves people from different levels and departments of the company. These people should meet on a regular basis(for example weekly, monthly, based on the size of your company), should have a clear understanding of the ins and outs of the company and should have strategies in place to use when a crisis comes.
Having a crisis centerCrisis centers are designed to lead customers and other stakeholders to one source that has relevant links with updated information.
There are many examples which illustrate that having crisis center is crucial for any type of company. For example, in 2014, social media accounts of General Motors were reached by customers, because of a tragedy.
Many people died in car accidents because of false ignition switches, which prevented airbags from being inflated. After this tragedy and crisis, General motors decided to create a website, that served as a hub of information. It contained many FAQs, step by step instructions, explanations and advice on how and where to get help.
Monitoring the crisis
If you want to effectively handle the social media crisis that your SaaS company faced, first of all you need to monitor how it develops. Use social media monitoring tools or simply keep open those Twitter conversations which are not responded yet.
Try to post relevant updates with your social media accounts and respond directly to your customers. It seems that there is no end for social media crisis, but make sure to follow all the conversations and respond to them in the appropriate way.
Accepting your mistakes
One of the most important things to do after a social media crisis is to take the full responsibility for the issue, even if you are not the one to blame. This is the most important thing for retaining your customers. Make sure to write a well defined public statement and post it on the original platform where the problem occurred. For example, if the crisis started on Twitter, post your statement there first.
Moreover, make sure to apologize within minutes. To make your statement more effective, have your head of social media, brand manager or CEO speak on behalf of your brand.
In this case, your followers understand that you take the situation seriously and see that you plan to ensure nothing similar happens in the future. Here are few examples of how companies successfully apologized on social media networks:
Anyone can make mistakes, but accepting, making up for them and improving the service is what matters.
Learning from your mistakes
After the crisis, when you put everything in its own places, when you apologized for your mistakes, it’s the right time to analyze everything from top to bottom.
Make sure to keep all the tweets, posts, emails, blog comments, analyze your website traffic, understand where, when and why the crisis started, how your internal notifications worked, how your employees responded to customer complaints and so on. Analyzing this information will help you get lessons from that crisis and be prepared for any situations.
Social media crisis examples
KitchenAid. KitchenAid had a social media crisis, when it inappropriately tweeted about President Obama’s grandmother on Kitchenaid Twitter account, instead of the personal account of the staff members. Though the tweet was immediately deleted, there were many people who already saw it and made screenshots.
After 15 minutes, the head of KitchenAid brand Cynthia Soledad took the Twitter account, explained what had happened, apologized and announced that the person who posted will not tweet for them anymore.
Burger King. Another social media crisis was when the Twitter account of Burger King was hacked, the hacker changed the name to McDonald’s and began promoting it in the tweets. By the time Burget King took control of their Twitter account, it was found that the page had gained more than 30 000 new followers.
As a result, it led to some suggest that it’s not a social media crisis at all, because it gained positive results. Either way, we can now see how important is the password security for companies.
O2: During a huge network outage, O2’s customers started to tweet in the account of O2, but instead of making standard responses, O2 responded directly to these tweets with an honest and humorous way.
Now, when you know what social media crisis is, how companies responded and how you need to handle it as a SaaS company, I am sure that you want to create a social media crisis management plan to be prepared for any situations.
Fortunately, HubSpot offers free guide and template of social media crisis management plan, with the help of which, your SaaS company will be able to:
- Understand the difference between crisis and problem
- Learn the ways of being an expert problem solver
- Make decisions when problem becomes a crisis
- Learn how to create a social media crisis management plan
All you need to do is to fill out the form to get the PDF guide and crisis management Excel template.
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