When something goes wrong for a company, what’s the company’s first reaction? More than a decade ago it was to inform the press, contact the TV and radio stations, and start sending out press releases.
While this all may still be relevant for your company, there are other effective strategies that must be used for crisis management, and it all has to do with inbound marketing.
Getting a message out to the masses is important, and television, radio, and print are still a great way to do that. But the one thing that these tools lack is a personalized and direct response to individual, concerned parties. These methods are basically a company just telling people something without the ability for anyone to respond about the crisis. Yeah, your big oil company is sorry for that big oil spill in the ocean, but unless you’re a news reporter (which most of us probably aren’t) you won’t get to ask any questions or connect with them.
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Spill the Beans
Let’s look at British Petroleum in 2010. During that huge spill in the Gulf of Mexico, they held a number of globally televised press conferences to keep everyone in the loop about what was going on. Great. And they did provide updates (which were the same as what they said on television) on their social media accounts, however, they did not respond to any comments. They didn’t bother to talk about the issue with their customers and environmental activists who were craving answers to their pertinent questions.
To make matters worse, BP even attempted to have all Twitter accounts that said anything negative about their company disabled.
Oddly enough, since that oil spill, I’ve noticed a significant lack of BP gasoline stations in any of my surrounding neighborhoods. But the crisis could have been better managed and they could have even retained customers if they had managed their inbound marketing better.
If you ever find your company in a crisis situation, here’s how you can help your business with inbound marketing:
Establish a Relationship
This is something that you should be doing now before a potential crisis hits. If you have established a good relationship with those on your social media accounts, meaning that you answer their questions with thoughtful posts and also post insightful, useful things, you have a higher chance of retaining a positive image in a crisis situation.
Respond to Social Media Posts
No matter how angry or aggravated people may seem with you and your company, you need to take a deep breath, try not to get overly defensive, and respond to the queries and comments that are being left on your social media accounts (click here see our free eBook on social media marketing to make sure that your social media accounts are up to snuff). Respond to any rude responses in a professional manner and try your best not to take it personally.
People are posting to your social media account looking for answers. You replying to them personally through social media will give your company a lot of positive PR.
Check How Successful Your Crisis Management is Online
The internet is your one-stop shop to see just how well or how badly your crisis management plan is going. Use tools like Google Alerts and Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to monitor specific keywords that may be related to your company and the crisis at hand.
Keep Things Out in the Open
The more transparent your business is in the throes of crisis, the better. Try not to keep information to yourself and share it when the time’s appropriate. People want to know what’s going on. They want all of the details about what went wrong and what your company plans on doing to rectify the problem.
What really works in this case is using a video marketing campaign. Having either yourself or someone else in your business film a video, such as an FAQ about the situation, on the web will do a lot of good for you company. Post that to your social media accounts, website, and blog.
No matter what, if a crisis arises, there will be at least some type of negative reaction. Stay the course and keep your head up; you won’t have to be in crisis mode forever.
Businesses in crisis need to do a lot more than set up a press release; they need to talk to their customers and other interested parties through other tools as their disposal, like their social media accounts and blogs.
If inbound marketing is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.