How to Keep Your Cool During a Social Media Crisis

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Posted on Sep 5th 2013
Whether it’s a rogue tweet from an employee or guest negativity on Facebook, it doesn’t take much to spark a social media crisis that can leave your resort’s carefully honed marketing campaign in tatters – if you’re not prepared that is. 
Protecting yourself from a backlash in the social sphere is all about making sure you understand how to deal with a crisis before one strikes.

1. Establish a Crisis Response Policy

Your resort’s social media campaign should include a clear policy for dealing with a crisis across all the social networks you use. If the problem has been instigated internally, (a poorly thought out or insensitive tweet from an employee, for example) in most cases the comment should be deleted as soon as possible and replaced with a prompt apology or correction. If the offending comment comes from an external source, you’ll need to evaluate what’s being said carefully before hitting delete – most of your guests won’t appreciate being silenced without explanation.

2. Act Quickly

Don’t let negative content linger longer than it needs to – when a crisis happens, remove the offending posts from your account immediately and apologise. This demonstrates that your resort is actively monitoring your social media platforms and even more importantly, that you take your online reputation seriously. Be sure to follow up on any deletions by responding to your follower’s questions and concerns so you don’t look like you’re trying to bury your head in the sand.

3. Be Human

Effective crisis management on social media requires the human touch. Issuing a standard copy and paste response to your follower’s concerns may save you time but it will do nothing for your relationships with your guests or customer service reputation as a brand. Instead, you should take time to post a sincere message responding to individual concerns. In some instances humour can be a great way to quickly diffuse a crisis situation but you should use with caution: if there’s any chance your audience can misinterpret the punch line the joke is best left well alone.

4. Monitor Scheduled Posts 

Facebook’s Schedule function is a great way to organise your content and plan future posts. However, pre-scheduled posts can seriously disrupt your resort’s crisis response strategy if they pop up at precisely the wrong time. Avoid publishing unrelated content that could damage your crisis response strategy by suspending scheduled posts while you’re dealing with the situation. You should also carefully monitor your scheduled posts in the event of a national or international crisis to ensure you don’t accidentally post anything that appears insensitive.

5. Use Feedback to Tweak your response policy

When the crisis has cooled off, take time to re-evaluate your resort’s social media strategies. Analyse feedback from your followers and revisit your crisis response policy if needed. The more you learn from your mistakes, the better chance you have of not repeating them. 
Social media opens up the doors of communication between you and your guests on an unprecedented level, but it can also cause even the smallest mistake or error of judgement to go viral in seconds. 
Is your resort ready to deal with a social media crisis?
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