A crisis! Now what?

Social Media, you can’t ignore it, even if you’re offline. Take yesterday. I was reading a newspaper on the train and read about social media and the Egyptian revolution, about a mysterious disease at a Playboy party discovered through Facebook and Twitter and about Collegiaal, a new Dutch online community where you can celebrate or remember a colleague. As I said: you can’t ignore the presence of Social Media. But how to deal with it, professionally? Can, or should you ignore Social Media? As a company? Or is that is practicing ostrich politics: take your head out of the sand in 5 years time and you feel like you’re left behind in the Stone Age.

Any serious company should realize the importance of Social Media. And I know, most of us do not work for Nike, Lego or The Roger Smith Hotel, companies that are very social media savvy. No, many of us work for companies that are either hesitant or afraid of using it. And if we’re using it, we wonder how to use it whilst not losing control over our brands and messages. But Social Media is disruptive, just because there is no control.

And then it happens. A comedian starts twittering about T-mobile’s customer service. An oil pipe of BP bursts, deep into the ocean. Moms massively respond through social media to a Motrin ad (a painkiller) in Saturday’s newspaper. Nestle ‘kindly’ asks their Facebook fans not too mess with their logo. Within days, damage is done. Why? Because those companies were not prepared for the power of social media or used it in completely the wrong manner.

News travels fast and bad news travels at light speed. So you better know what’s being said and where it’s being said. That means you need to listen. Listen to what people say about you on Facebook, on Twitter or anywhere else in the social media space where your audience is active. And know how to respond when the sh*t hits the fan.

Crisis management and Social Media, that’s what we’re going to talk about on Day 2 at KGS’s Enterprise Social 2.0 on March 9 in Brussels. I’ll be chairing a workshop where we will talk about how to deal with a crisis in social media. We will share our thoughts and experiences and see what to do when an actual crisis emerges.

Something KLM does understand. During the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull many travelers were stuck on airports throughout Europe. KLM informed and connected with their customers by successfully using Facebook and Twitter. On Day 1, March 8, Roy Scheerder, Vice President Marketing at KLM will explain how they did this and what they learned form this crisis. (Before I froget, LEGO and the Roger Smith Hotel will share their experiences as well)

So, be prepared for a crisis. Start today with preparing yourself. Follow ALAS: first become Aware what social media really means, start Listening to your audience and know where to find them, and finally, Act. But don’t forget to base your actions on a Strategy.

Know what to do. Don’t wait for the crisis.

See you all March 8 and 9 in Brussels.

4 Responses to A crisis! Now what?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A crisis! Now what? « New Media in Motion -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Journalism 2.0: Social Media Ethics « Twitter and Media

  3. Pingback: When Personal and Professional Branding Clash, Everybody Loses « PR at Sunrise

  4. Pingback: Enterprise Social 2.0 summit: Discounts and blogging announced « Serve4Impact Fredzimny's CCCCC

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