We’ve been under the impression that social media is all good things until we, or our business, are hit by a social media crisis which turned things upside down. It is not uncommon for a business, no matter how large or small it is, to deal with a social media crisis and it can be daunting. A social meda crisis can bring a huge negative impact to a business. Perhaps, you are already aware that dealing with a social media crisis without a proper crisis management plan could put your business on the verge of a ruined reputation, and once your reputation is lost it can rarely be restored again. However, I’m not going to talk to you about how to come up with an effective crisis management plan, you and I know that there are thousands of them you can search for on Google. Rather, I want you to realize that dealing with a social media crisis is a reality check. We have to face the brutal fact that we are all vulnerable to an online crisis that can threaten our brand’s reputation. And along with the challenge of overcoming the crisis, we are also taught the different values that we could make use of for our next social media marketing efforts. Here are the values that we can learn from dealing with a social media crisis. Accountability Truth is that not everyone in social media knows the importance of being accountable in using social media whether for business or for personal purposes. And for this reason, most companies fall short in their social media efforts, and even worse, they end up making a mistake. And just when they are faced with a social media crisis they realize the importance of being accountable for their actions. Accountability is practiced when we learn to accept that we make mistakes. We are all capable of making mistakes and when we do, we have to admit it. Take for example the case of DKNY where they accidentally used some photographer’s photos without paying. DKNY admitted they have made a mistake and the fashion company looked for ways to make up for the mistake. You don’t need to be a large company like DKNY to learn from your mistakes. Make yourself and your team accountable to every action made. This way, you will have a lesser chance to commit the same mistakes again. Quick Thinking Social media is the public’s eye to your business and you need to respond to a crisis in real-time. Respond to every issue as the event unfolds. Once you made a mistake you have to anticipate that you are about to face a crisis and there is no way for you to be unprepared. Do not be overwhelmed or scared by the huge wave of negative social response. You might be tempted to hold back to absorb the situation and understand all that is happening. But this is social media and there is no time for bureaucracy. The users want you to react and respond to the issue as quick as possible. One of the best ways to quickly control the whole situation is to provide appropriate actions and answers to every question from the users before somebody else do this for you. Critical Thinking When you are in the middle of a crisis, it is important that you can provide appropriate actions to a certain incident that triggers a social media crisis. To be able to do this you need to develop not just quick thinking but also critical thinking. The critical thinker can come up with a decisive response to a situation or an issue based on his or her objective analysis or evaluation. When you are faced with a crisis, you need to send a message to the public that everything about the situation is being handled well. And just how will you be able to do that? Through critical thinking, you can come up with a process or a plan of action that can help you get through the situation. You will be able to think of a better and effective idea to do some damage control before the whole incident can ruin your reputation. Learning To Accept Failure As much as we are vulnerable in making mistakes we are also susceptible to failure. We aren’t always lucky enough to overcome a social media crisis. There will come a time that we have to face the fact that we can do nothing more than to close our accounts, lament on a ruined reputation and move forward. Social media crisis teaches us that success and failure are two sides of the coin. It teaches us that it is normal to fail and some things are just not in our control. Although failure is not an easy thing to accept, here are some points that might be able to help you move on. Surround yourself with like-minded people. You are not alone in this situation. Find a business community with people who have had the same experience as you have and find support from each other. Be realistic. There is nothing wrong with being optimistic but there are times that your optimism may cloud your mind about the present situation so it is better if you develop a realistic mind. Failure is an opportunity for success. It is a trial and error. You fail because certain things don’t work so find other ideas that would help you get on top. Seeing all your efforts go to waste is depressing but you have no way to go than move forward. The quicker you accept the fact that you can fail, the quicker you can move on and think of better ideas to get your business back on the track. Conclusion Nobody, or no business for that matter, wants to experience a social media crisis. But if, unfortunately, you have to deal with it, make sure that you come up with the right strategy to handle the situation. You will be able to gain something from your experiences which can be useful to you in your journey to success. 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