What’s going on? Check your Facebook, Twitter, scan your blogosphere. Got it!
Social media has become a super popular tool for people to learn news and collect information. Its convenience, timeliness and simplicity enable people to quickly get update news and enjoy free speech. Social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Blog, can make the news go to the vital. News can spread world wide within a very short time. And it allows people to freely comment and discuss on the Internet, thus in turn, attracting more attention on the issue.
It sounds good for the positive messages. But, remember that bad news goes much faster than good ones. If you got a crisis, the social media would be vital. Never overlook the influence of social media on a crisis. The ignorance or poor use of the social media when you react in a crisis can lead you to the dilemma or even failure.
The recent “war” between NBC and its “Tonight Show” host confirms this point. The term of Leno v. Conan v. NBC has been one of the most heated disscussion going around on the Network. However, the results are apparently different.
On the organization side, NBC executives failed to communicate with fans who expressed their overwhelming support for Conan on both Twitter and Facebook, which caused the situation out of control. On the individual side, there are more than 600,000 fans on the “I’m With CoCo Facebook page“, not to mention the number of tweets. While Leno’s show page has 16,617 fans and his personal page was taken over by O’Brien supporters. This apparently shows the significance of social media in the communication of dealing with a crisis.
The social media communication paradigm is to engage. People freely publish and share news on the Net and others voluntarily spread the news so that the news can reach a wide audience in short time. People like to participate in the various discussions and give their own opinions, which will obtain other people’s recognition or draw more attention to the event.
Therefore, when a crisis breaks, and we want to make our first reaction via the social media, the best way is to be involved and join people’s topics. It’s better for us to express our initial statement on the targeted social media and communicate with the audiences on the discussion. By monitoring what people say and their attitudes, we can try to control the situation and find ways to solve problems. Only by putting ourselves in the social media information dissemination systems can we be completely informed of the situation and effectively handle the crisis. Remember two keys, full engagement and true interaction.
Then what should we pay attention to when dealing with social media in the first reaction of a crisis?
Besides the engagement mentioned above, there are other factors that you should caution. “If you know your audience, locate them online, listen, add value, respond, refrain from spamming and just be yourself, you’ll have far better and more long-lasting positive results,” Aliza Sherman said in her post “10 Golden Rules of Social Media”. A quick response with the information that the public want to know after learning what they think may be the most useful way to make reaction via the social media.
Moreover, we should always be ready to create contents. Because “the best way to mitigate social media crises is to respond at the flashpoint, you must be prepared to make and launch content in a variety of formats and circumstances”, Jay Baer talked in his post “4 Brand-saving recommendations for social media crisis management”.