Poor brand communication management can have negative consequences and lead to a crisis. What can you do when the storm is about to break?
Misuse of a brand or company’s communication channels can have dire consequences for their online reputation.
I have already talked about this topic on a number of occasions and it is a subject that arouses great interest, due to the cases that occur almost daily. Below you read what an online reputation crisis is and learn 5 basic tips on how to avoid suffering one when the storm breaks.
What is an online reputation crisis?
We can define online reputation as the image that a brand has among internet users, the perception of it. This image is built both by the brand through its online actions and by users through their comments and evaluations of the different products and services offered by the brand.
Therefore, an online reputation crisis is an event that can damage the reputation of a brand among the community of internet users. Crises can happen for various reasons, defective products, a company’s misuse of social media or even an attack by a group of users.
Undoubtedly, social networks are the key element in online reputation crises. This is because the number of users is enormous and, therefore, any content can go viral in a matter of minutes.
How can your brand avoid an online reputation crisis?
First of all, the first thing to stress is that there is no magic formula to avoid a crisis, so it is essential that your brand has a contingency plan to act quickly in the event of an online reputation crisis and minimise the damage.
1. Honesty and transparency
To avoid a crisis, it is essential that your brand is shown for what it is. This is even more important if the crisis has already started, as a lie at such a delicate moment will only give users more ammunition to attack you.
2. Don’t delete comments
If the crisis is triggered by an unfortunate comment on a social network, don’t delete it. This is a sign of weakness.
3. The importance of apologising
We all make mistakes. If you apologise and show humility, your brand’s mistake is less likely to turn into a crisis. What’s more, this kind of behaviour can improve your image.
4. Immediate responsiveness
If you sense that a crisis is about to start, the best thing to do is to confront it. Hiding will only make the problem grow and you won’t get the information you need to tackle the problem.
Many community managers have caused a crisis by disrespecting a user. If you have the services of a social media manager, it is important that you let them know that they should always be polite to users, even when messages are critical or in bad taste. A good way to do this is to use humour.
Nowadays no company is free from suffering an online reputation crisis, but by acting in the right way you can minimise the damage and even take advantage of it to improve the brand’s image on the Internet.