What if a Business Encounters Negative Publicity on Social Media?

Written by Jeremy Scott on 15 February 2018

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It’s important to have a ‘crisis social media management plan’ in place if running a large business. This can be devised by your PR team. Some of the key areas addressed in crisis management planning are:

  • What is a  possible crisis
  • When are they most likely to occur
  • Who are they most likely to come from
  • How will the company address each crisis
  • How will the company address the crisis through its social media channels
  • Who will be the spokesperson for that crisis

It’s important to note that ‘negative’ comments at some stage will occur in a social media campaign. Large companies DO deal with complaints and issues on social media every day. This doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t have a social media campaign. The positive scope of social media far outweighs the negative, providing it’s dealt with professionally.

Statistics  show that 70% of  people are open to changing their opinion of a business if they respond to a negative situation on social media. Most of the time, if a customer takes to social media to express their concern or make a negative comment they are desperate for a “response” and are demanding some sort of  “customer service” from a company. They want to feel like they are being heard and that their query is being handled. The best thing a company can do is take action. Inform the customer that they are a valued client and that you wish to liaise with them on a one-on-one basis to rectify the situation. This generally closes down the ‘social media’ hype and takes the issue ‘behind closed doors’ through emails or a phone call. If other consumers read the comments, they will generally not think much of it, so long as the company has reached out to assist their customer with a high level of care and service. Infact, this sort of publicity can end up being good PR for a company when they are seen to be highly engaged and ‘taking care’ of their followers.

In extreme situations, if a page is professionally and consistently monitored and a negative comment is completely unwarranted, it can be deleted and the user can be blocked. The company can privately get in touch with the user if need be.

*Stats provided by The Digital Industry Association of Australia 2015.