Someone is slating your service on Instagram. Your intern* just posted bad language all over the company account. One of your employees has hopped on to defend you and made things even worse. What do you do?
You have a social media crisis policy, and you share it with all your employees, before it gets to this point.
A social media crisis policy prepares your business for the worst-case scenario before it happens. It ensures everyone is on the same page and no one accidently pours fuel on the fire. You need a responsible person, or team, who can and will handle social media issues.
Social Media Crisis policy – a template[insert your business name here]
Please follow these steps if you feel like there is something that might be a problem for [name of the business] on social media.
- LET US KNOW
- LET US ANSWER
- SHARE OR LIKE THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE
1 – Let [the responsible person] know.
Please update them at [email/phone/Slack etc]. What appears to be a crisis may not be but we always want to hear from you. You are our extra eyes and ears. We have management and escalation plans in place. We are prepared to handle an issue, whether we saw it first or not.
2 – Let us answer.
We really appreciate staff support around difficult issues but we need a clear and informative message to be the first reaction. So please let us give the response. We will make sure you know the official response and link to where it is. Sometimes it will take time to formulate the response, but we will keep staff updated on this wherever possible.
3 – Share or like the official response.
Give us a chance to respond. No matter how mad you feel. We understand. We might be mad too! It doesn’t help anyone to perpetuate trolling, disinformation or any other kind of unpleasantness. Help us to get clear info out. Email us and await for the response to go out on our official channels and/or where the crisis started.
Bonus tip! Interns and social media do not mix
* Do NOT let the intern do your social media unsupervised. While it’s tempting to assume everyone under the age of 25 was born with a smartphone in their hand, using social media personally and professionally are very different things. It’s one thing to suggest they create some content for you to review, don’t give them carte blanche to post at will.
Don’t have time to manage social media? Outsource to a professional or cut back to the one platform that really matters for you and make it work. Posting less, but well, is better than frequent and dull.