6 July 2012 16 Comments

Social Media: 10 easy routes to crisis

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


Online Crisis, Social media crisis, online communication, how to avoid social media crisis.Social media is a two edge sword. It has a lot of opportunities and can be a wild lion. Its ability to go viral distinguishes the media from forms of media. As much as we can try, some crises are not preventable while we have control over others. Working and annexing the benefits of social media has a lot of benefits. Wise organizations had used the platform to build solid business relationship, enhance market share value as well as position their brands for global relevance.

Many unknown brands which operated in a corner of their world in the last ten years have come into the limelight just because of this great platform. Interestingly few have run into problems because they overlooked certain details that matter. Other fell into social media crisis ditch not because they plan for it but because they place value on the fun aspect at the expense of the overall corporate objective.

 Today we will be examining ten easy steps that can lead any brand into social media crisis.

Criticise and attack other: the easiest way to run into an online crisis is to attack other online users without any just cause. Some just take pleasure in attacking others. For some attacking others give them a kind of quick notoriety. It is true the voice of the underdog will be heard louder, but any brand going somewhere will not derive pleasure in criticising others for the sake of it. If you can, it is not a problem to hold opposing views to popular opinion but it is good to avoid attacking others. State your opinion and let the sleeping dog lie.

Lying: The age we live in do not permits lying. There is no need to patch it up or give wrong information. People say we must use diplomacy. While we are not against this, an outright lie will be found out. It is a matter of time. The rate at which information flows today may encourage some people to do background checks on your claims. Lying about facts will lead to untold crisis and you do not want to be a case study.

Mixing with wrong crowd: Another route which leads a brand into online crisis is to mix with wrong crowd. There are several groups and associations connecting and raising their voices in support of what they believe. Your brand association in some of these online groups may send wrong signal to your target. You do not want to give

Don’t bother about your online image: leaving your brand image to chances online can lead to a crisis. It is not enough to have account, it is equally important you monitor your brand online to avoid unnecessary image crisis.

Never listen: We are in the age of conversation. A brand that refuses to listen is a time bomb. Social media is not a platform for ‘me, me and me’ only. It is a tool for conversation, dialogue and not monologue.

Don’t have a goal: Without a vision or goal, purpose is abused. The same is true in Social media. There must be a goal for using Social media tool. Even if it is just to build personal relationship with others. Running into a social media crisis is cheap when a brand has no goal.

Spam continuously: we live in permission marketing age. Avoid ‘spamming’ other users. If you send a mass message, check who remove themselves from the conversation. That may be a subtle way of saying you are encroaching on my space. Some may not want to report you but if that continues they may be forced to create a scene for you.

Don’t relate with anyone: being a lone ranger may seems cool. But if a lone ranger runs into crisis, it often becomes a disaster. It takes one mistakes to enter a crisis. Because there is no one to speak on the lone ranger’s  behalf, the crisis may become overblown.

Never say sorry or take responsibility: It is human to err and divine to forgive. People want to forgive if the offender acknowledges and tenders an apology. Do not be too proud to say sorry when you err. If you are proud and arrogant, you may not be far from online crisis.

Continuously self promote: Social media is a tool for sharing, give and take. It is fun when you share and promote others. In fact to be successful, people had advocated 80/20 rule. This is a situation where you promote other brands benefit and use the remaining 20 percent time to promote yourself. If a brand continuously promotes itself without consideration for others, crisis may be around the corner.

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