Social media is a great marketing tool when things are going well. Your audience is engaging with your content, your marketing messages are being shared, all the numbers are pointing in the right direction and your boss thinks you’re a genius.
But in a crisis it can seem very, very different. Suddenly those pages you’ve spent months curating are filled with angry customers venting their rage. The number of negative comments grows by the second. Particularly disgruntled customers may even start campaigning for a boycott of your products and services.
The overwhelming urge is to pull the plug: delete the negative comments, close the pages and hope it all goes away. And for an organisation that was considering launching a social media presence, the travails of others can seem like a good reason not to bother in the first place. After all, if the company hadn’t set up those pages in the first place, upset customers would have nowhere to go to complain (at least so visibly) when things go badly, right?
Wrong. People have always complained about bad service. Social media might amplify those complaints, but it also provides an opportunity to resolve them in a very public fashion.