Since the arrival of platforms like blogs and social media, brands have been granted many more opportunities to be transparent, authentic, and accessible to their audience. The capacity for instantaneous communication, however, have also created spaces in which negative narratives can spin out of control faster than ever before.
While no brand ever intends for something to negatively impact the online reputation of its business, it’s still crucial to have a contingency plan in place. 59% of businesses will encounter a crisis at some point in their lifespan, and the after-effects can continue to plague their search results long after they navigate through it.
How To Manage a Reputation Crisis for Your Business
Preparation is key in mitigating future problems, so it’s worth taking the time to develop an actionable crisis management plan with your brand’s key stakeholders and communication experts before a crisis strikes. Forming a crisis management plan drastically reduces the probability that an erroneous or negative article will rank in your top search results long-term.
Engage With Your Customers
According to a study conducted by global advertising agency Havas, consumers are more likely to support companies that take the time to engage with their audiences. Make sure you know where people are talking about you, and keep track of what’s being said. It’s easy to focus on one platform or a single negative article and lose sight of the big picture as it relates to your brand.
Engaging with your audience through social media has many benefits, but it’s important to go about it the right way. It’s impossible to foresee every scenario, but there are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to strike the right balance.
- Always be mindful of tone and context when posting.
- Respectfully acknowledge and reply to complaints and criticisms of your business online, don’t avoid them.
- Promote your brand, but don’t overdo it.
A recent study found that 85% of respondents needed to see a product or service more than once before deciding to purchase it, but that 58% were annoyed by too many promotional messages on social media.
For more tips on how to prepare for a crisis – and weather the storm if you find yourself in the midst of one – check out the following guide: