Everything is closer and goes faster in the world of social media. People on Greenland can respond to a thread written in Madagascar within seconds. People are able to find likeminded people, build communities around specific interests, and find inspiration and support within those communities. If one yells, the reach is not only limited to local and random surroundings. An army can be assembled from the whole world, within seconds, ready to fight and destroy your brand. So how do you respond, stop the army from increasing, and maybe turn the situation around to your benefit?
What does the monster look like?
How do you identify a potential avalanche of negativity towards your brand? First of all – keep your enemies close. Get to know the people who will disagree with your brand’s believes. What are your company’s or product’s weaknesses, who will speak up for it and why? Sometimes you don’t have to have enemies to get issues. Spelling mistakes, incorrect facts, or unhappy customers can turn into a big issue, and worst of all a crises that can damage your company and it’s reputation. Documented complaints, well written stories, photos, videos, and writers with high reputation are most likely to start the issues.
Have a Content Team or a Community Manager who is responsible for monitoring and taking part in the conversations concerning your brand. This can stop the avalanche before it’s even started. Time means everything, the faster you can stop it, the smaller is the risk that it will grow big and out of control.
Content in the making
All content is exposed to thousands of eyes. It is thus important to put your content under a telescope and to look at it from different angles. Ask yourself if your content can be misunderstood. No? Then ask your colleague. Next, proofread it for spelling, grammar and facts – everything needs to be triple checked before it is posted. If your content can possibly be misunderstood then have arguments, sources and a clear message ready for a quick reply.
What you should do
It happened! Heaps of angry, passionate comments are now appearing on your page, so what will you do about it? People need answers! The most provocative thing is when someone doesn’t answer you back. If you don’t have the answer yet, then say so. People will feel that you take them seriously, and maybe they calm down a bit if you don’t ignore them. You need to create a good answer. Most importantly you have to keep it short. A long explanation can loose a lot of readers and also ruin your purpose – to give a clear message. Have a decent tone that won’t reveal your frustrations. Give it a personal touch by signing off with your first name so the audience can see the real person behind the big brand. In this way, you give your message authenticity and take responsibility, which is very important. If you want to take really good care of your baby, then get yourself an app that shows when new comments or posts come in. Then you will always be well prepared if hell comes knocking at your door.