A manager who has been using social media strategies to develop loyal followers will have a decisive opportunity when a crisis occurs. Companies with advanced social media strategies in place will avoid an adverse event promptly and with reduced financial loss. Many businesses have started using social media as a tool for providing excellent customers service and also listening to their grievances. In the event of a crisis, social media can act as a fantastic tool for businesses. A crisis involves a simple website outage to negative publicity. The paper reveals how to apply social media strategies to manage a crisis.
Tweets can easily be searched by Google, Twitter and all other Twitter applications which are available. A business can be followed on twitter not only by the consumers but also by competitors. A company should always monitor Twitter mentions of their brands, services, and products so that they can respond diligently to any negative occasion. For example, at Toyota, there was a problem of defective “sticky” gas pedals in several models of their vehicles. Toyota has managed to respond effectively to customer’s concerns on the recall via Twitter. Another similar situation was experienced at Codero which is a web hosting company that experienced a power outage that severely affected their servers reducing the efficiency of their client’s websites. Codero responded directly to their clients through “Via Twitter” for several days until they were able to capture all the customers. Positive referrals to the followers were made by the customers who were satisfied by the customer service they received.
YouTube is a universal video search engine and is the best strategy that a company can use to make a public announcement about an ongoing situation. At “LexusVehicles” the President and the General Manager recorded a personal message on YouTube for their consumers on LexusVehicles channel defending their quality. The action was in response to Consumer grievances on the rollover risk of the GX 460 SUV, and they voluntarily recalled the model to improve on the stability system. Posting videos on YouTube provide a company an opportunity to include positive responses where possible to a negative customer comment that was made on the video.
A Facebook fan page is a social media outlet used by several companies to focus on providing an exemplary response to the customer’s grievances. Fans can post comments to the Facebook page which can be seen by the public and hence it is necessary for a company to monitor the Facebook page and update it when a need arises. For example, Toyota’s Facebook page is continuously updated by both fans and Toyota with similar complaints and praise. There are numerous comments which Toyota cannot respond to one by one but make more comprehensive responses behind the scene through private emails to the fans. It is imperative that a company see the reactions from the public and assure the fans that someone is actively involved in their discussions rather than only posting updates which are new. After experiencing a power outage, Codero made updates on its Facebook page to address to the customers about the outage and also directed customers to watch the discussions on Twitter accounts and linked it to the posts on a blog which had a video update on YouTube. Codero did also update their fan page to reach customers and assure them that they were analyzing the situation and discuss the methods they wish to apply to resolve the case effectively.
Recommendation for better communication
Social media is a public platform, and all the followers and fans have the right to make negative comments. It is the responsibility of the company to turn the negative comments around and defend a situation by changing a negative situation into a positive one. A company should hence monitor businesses on social media and respond to tweets, comments, and mentions promptly. As a manager, I will try to reach the consumers on social media and suggest that they contact the company privately by sending their emails and phone numbers for an extensive discussion. On Twitter, a company should follower a customer so that they directly message the company. On Facebook fan pages it is imperative for a manager to share a personal profile which a customer can send a message to during a crisis.
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