Your Brand’s Reputation: How to avoid a crisis on social media
The reputation of the brand often means life or death for a company. Because one of the worst things that can happen to a brand is losing the trust of the public. This can happen in many different ways, but they usually have one thing in common: it’s posted all across social media. In order to be prepared for what might happen, here are some tips to maintain a good reputation for your brand.
Before the crisis
The reputation of a brand is built little by little, with a lot of hard work and dedication, but it can be destroyed in an instant. Therefore, the best way to avoid a crisis with your reputation is prevention, which definitely beats finding a cure.
The best advice is common sense. Sometimes we are so focused and involved in our own projects that it is hard to see things in perspective. That’s why it’s always a good idea to seek outside advice and listen to it. Many crises would not have happened if someone had said “Wait a minute, doesn’t this sound a little bit like ….?”
Watch what’s happening to other brands. Has it come out that a company in your sector is using products that are harmful to the environment? Get ready. Check the products you’re using and start to cover yourself in case the focus lands on you. Be the one who is leading the conversation.
During the crisis
The disaster has come to pass. A senior official has said something that they shouldn’t have, or a new strategy or campaign hasn’t been well received. It’s time to get to work to control the reputation of your brand.
First, take a deep breath and take time to think. We’re often ruled by our emotions and give the wrong answer, at least in the eyes of public opinion. Get help from the people around you (and from experts) and decide on the next step together. Think about all the possibilities. It’s better to take a little time before making a move, rather than getting it wrong.
This is the time to respond with honesty above all. Were you wrong? Admit it and demonstrate it. Don’t use empty words.
Were they wrong in their judgment of you? If so, don’t be afraid to defend your position with a statement.
In addition, this is a time when it’s important to identify which comments are criticisms and which ones come from trolls, who only want to use the chaos to sow more discord. Within this context, don’t let yourself get carried away by the trolls and start answering.
Some companies and personalities choose to distract the public with other news, or communicate something that can cause a crisis when there is other news, so people’s focus will be on something else. However, this is a double-edged sword and this technique may not turn out well.
After the crisis
Have you survived? It’s time to start working hard again to win back the public’s trust and learn how to avoid making the same mistakes.
It’s time to monitor the conversations about your company, in order to be aware of people’s opinions and how these might affect your brand’s reputation. You can set up a daily (or weekly) Google Alerts submission with a summary of the mentions about your company, or you can periodically do a search on Twitter.
When it comes to rebuilding a reputation, the most important vehicle is your employees and collaborators. If they speak well of their work and defend it, this will be reflected in the brand’s image.