In the current business climate, companies are expected to be transparent and to interact with their customer base frequently. In the main, this is good news for businesses. After all, because of their willingness to engage with customers, modern companies are able to generate trust and send out their brand’s message quickly. However, there are some drawbacks associated with developing an open and proactive brand. One of the biggest problems companies in the social-media age face is dealing with sensitive issues on their pages. Changes in staff, relocations, unpopular decisions –– even negative news reports or downright scandals –– can affect a brand in a profound (and detrimental) way. Fortunately, these four tips will help social-media managers address tough topics online and maintain good relations with customers:
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to deal with a difficult situation is to stay silent. For instance, if a news story that involves your business is still developing, it may be best to wait until everything has come out in the press before commenting on rumors or speculation. Furthermore, brands are not required to comment on every tragedy or controversial news event that occurs. Unless you absolutely must make a statement, keeping quiet for the time being will allow your team time to formulate a measured response, which could prove massively beneficial in the long-run.
It’s been said many times before, but the coverup is almost always worse than the crime. Indeed, if your business has made some sort of error, then whatever you do, don’t lie about it. Denying true allegations or spreading false info will come back to haunt you eventually. Note, deleting a tweet or a Facebook post won’t do you much good either.
Consider Your Audience
Business audiences are diverse. While there is always some degree of overlap, each company has its own unique set of customers and fans attached to their brand. As such, it makes sense to tailor messages around sensitive material to their needs and preferences. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these people in your messages either!
Edit, Edit, and Edit Again
It’s one thing for a business to make a mistake on a social-media post related to a blog about stuffed animals. It’s quite another to promote erroneous content about STD screening options. When a business has to make a serious statement online, it’s imperative that professionals proofread it to an excessive degree. There’s nothing worse than making a grammatical or spelling error in an important post.
Tackling a sensitive subject in a social-media post is a tricky endeavor, but most marketing professionals will have to do so at least once. Fortunately, any of the above tips can help you manage this difficult situation with aplomb!