How Should You Handle A Social Crisis?

Nov 1 • Front Page, Social Media Recommendations • 1434 Views

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orca

 

SeaWorld is receiving a backlash of public commentary after the documentary film Blackfish aired on CNN. Below are tweets from some celebrities who have spoken out after seeing the documentary.

 

Ewan McGregor tweet

 

Russell Brand tweet

 

You can go to http://www.backblackfish.com/ to see what other celebrities are saying.  Seeing how this has played out—and the way SeaWorld has handled this social crisis, going as far as disabling commenting on its Facebook page, according to U-T San Diego—has prompted everyone here at Splash Media Group to revisit how situations like this should be handled. In the fast-paced, real-time world of social media, it can sometimes be difficult to manage the amount of data moving across all platforms in a timely manner. So what are our suggestions for handling a social crisis of this magnitude that arbitrarily takes over all your social networks?

First, we highly discourage the practice of disabling commenting. Users should be invited into your social ecosystem and be allowed to voice their concerns freely—and know that they are being heard. If you prevent users from doing so, they will just end up on another platform where you are unable to control the flow of the conversation and quickly respond to concerns.

Second, blocking users should only be done if they are making illegal threats, and such activity should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement officials. This should, however, be handled delicately and only as a last resort.

Third, in a crisis situation that causes a tidal wave of comments being directed at you on any social media platform, you should very delicately address the issue once and then move on. Continually trying to respond to every single comment can only add fuel to the fires and proliferate the negative commentary.

Social media conversations can escalate out of control rather quickly; however, they can also be addressed and managed effectively if handled appropriately and with tact.

Also in the news today, the team at Michael Kors has a slight social crisis on their hands, as the negative response to their debut as Instagram’s very first ad hits the social media sphere. And the feedback does not look good from the comments we’ve seen so far. Instagram users who found this ad in their feed aren’t too happy about it. If you were Michael Kors, how would you handle this backlash?

 

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