Company Crisis Management: Social Media’s Role
As more and more case studies and ‘how not to do’s’ emerge, more companies are beginning to realise the importance of social media in a crisis.
I recently spoke at a seminar on crisis communications, and every single presenter, whether from a traditional background, B2C brand, state body, ended by stating the importance of using social media when your company faces a crisis. It’s certainly encouraging that so many practitioners are advocating the use of social media beforehand, instead of waiting to figure it out when the crisis hits, but there still seems to be confusion over how you can effectively use social media tools and platforms to effectively communicate, or control a crisis. Based on first hand experience and an awareness of other case studies in this space, I wanted to provide some best practice guidelines for using social media in a crisis.
Own your front Page
What I mean here, is owning your own front Page in Google, as this is steadily going to become your single biggest asset during a crisis. While a large portion of people will go straight to a company’s Facebook Page or Twitter account to find out more information during a crisis, or level their criticism, Google will still be the main destination for people looking for more information in a crisis. You want to help ensure that when people search for your brand name, it’s your results they’re finding on the homepage, which can take them directly through to the correct source of information. This can be done in 2 ways. Firstly, you need to ensure you have built up a good social media-SEO practice beforehand, so that when you type in your brand term into Google, you’re likely to see results for your company blog, Facebook Page, Youtube videos etc.. as well as your own site. This of course is something that has to be implemented before the crisis itself, and represents a good example of pre-empting a crisis.