The "Good" - having a well-thought out plan for when your reputation is damaged online
I saw the article 5 Steps for Successful Social Media Damage Control by Sharlyn Lauby on Mashable the day after I posted my last entry on Managing Your Online Reputation. She covered what I forgot in my post, that managing reputation online is just like managing reputation offline...
"Our goal, of course, hasn’t changed – work to increase the number of positive comments written about your company, product, or service and take care of those who have negative experiences. But, how do you make that happen in the social media world? What steps to you take to keep negative social media damage to a minimum?"
Here is the abbreviated list she recommends for addressing any reputation crisis. Of course they key to have a well thought out plan/process developed and employees trained well in advance of any issue that occurs.
- Monitor social media sites 24/7. My take: you should be doing this already or you've already missed some issues/product/service reviews which might not be crises warranting damage control but are negatively impacting your brand none-the-less.
- Respond quickly with a consistent message. My take: just like the offline world, even if you don't have the answer yet at least let me know you care and are working on it.
- Reply to the social media world. My take: It's not enough to just address the impacted person(s), you have address the whole community since often people on the sidelines jump into the fray and the last thing you want is a bench-clearing brawl ;)
- Educate employees on proper messaging. My take: you need to quickly develop and communicate incident specific messaging to all employees since even though they aren't on the damage control team you need to keep them informed and calm just like customers, and on the chance that they get asked you want them to deliver a consistent message.
- Develop a crisis strategy. My take: actually this should be #2 on the list. I suggest you have a pre-identified damage control team that meets immediately once the issue is raised. If necessary, they can then pull in the appropriate experts to better understand the problem and craft the response strategy...what will we say, who will say it, where and when...