By Jacob Guiler
Managing Crisis Communication Via Social Media
“Every organization will at one time or another face a crisis or transformation, and therefore needs to be prepared to communicate… (Špoljarić, 2021).” How you communicate during a crisis could make or break your brand’s image. The communication between a brand and its public(s) during and after a negative occurrence is known as crisis communication. Social media is the perfect tool for a brand to communicate during and after a crisis.
Social media creates a direct channel for the brand to consumer
It also creates a channel for consumer-to-consumer communication about the brand. As IMC students, it is important to be aware of how connected an organization is to its consumers. This will allow us to supply a consistent brand image for our organization across all platforms and social media channels. It also supplies the means to address a crisis quickly and reach a vast number of consumers.
Taking advantage of this one-way and two-way communication between the brand and customer is crucial to reduce the damage prior, during, and after a crisis. After any negative occurrence, you can check social media to see what people are saying about your brand in response to the crisis. You can use social media to quickly address any discrepancies or false rumors that may have surfaced because of the negative occurrence. This is an excellent way to engage with your brand’s audience while supporting your brand’s image.
Crisis offers an opportunity to develop and improve
This is true for the organizations we will join in the future and for life as a student. Unforeseen events will creep up that make life as a student hard such as financial problems, employment issues, or the pandemic. We must not let crisis break us but, instead use it to make us.
Brands can use a crisis to position themselves to be valued and distinct in their audiences’ minds. If you respond to a crisis with prompt and honest communication the public will remember your brand as one that is not fazed by hardships and as a brand that will be around for a while. If you respond to a crisis incorrectly it could mean the end of your brand. An incorrect response would be waiting too long to address the crisis, using the wrong social media, or saying the wrong things.
Prompt and honest communication increases customer’s trust in an organization and its actions
Getting ahead of a crisis and addressing quickly can save a brand’s reputation. You want to be the first to address the crisis, as waiting too long could result in the creation of another narrative that doesn’t support your brand’s image. Letting someone who doesn’t know the brand’s image, position, or other knowledge of the brand will likely harm your brand’s reputation. You want to build trust in your brand through constant communication. If your audience is used to quick responses, they will expect you to communicate as soon as a crisis occurs.
Addressing an issue quickly and honestly will allow your audience to get a better understanding of what the brand is going through and react accordingly. If you wait until after you have already performed poorly, you are leaving it up to your audience’s speculation and eliminating the chance to tell your side of the story. As IMC students this is true for any crisis we may face as well. If something happens in your life that will affect your performance, let your instructor know. If not, your professor may assume that you’re lazy, uninterested, or that you don’t care about the class. If you are struggling in a class, in your personal life, or even at work it is best to let your teacher know at once.
What does this mean for the practice of IMC?
Crisis communication is a great resource for any IMC practitioner and the practice of IMC itself. It answers questions such as: What kind of communication is expected during a crisis? What’s the best form of communication during a crisis?
Maintaining constant communication is a great way to get an audience to trust your brand. You must continue this communication in the time of a crisis to keep that trust. This means that you must take crisis communication seriously to support your brand’s image. Respond quickly and honestly so your audience understands the crisis and stands by you. This will gain more trust in the brand as your audience knows you will maintain your brand’s values even when faced with adversity. Don’t let a crisis break your brand, use it to make your brand.
Špoljarić, A. (2021). Managing crisis communication via Social Media. Naše Gospodarstvo/Our Economy, 67(1), 23–32. https://doi.org/10.2478/ngoe-2021-0003