A couple of months ago, we had a client ask us, “What happens if something is posted on our company Social Media that is out of line with our companies core values and beliefs?” I had to sit and think. What if a Social Media Crisis happens? Are we prepared to manage it? Like any other crises, a Social Media Crisis can be managed. Through preparation and diligence, you can be ready for whatever online challenge you face. Luckily, the C3 Team has put together some steps you can implement to ensure that when a crisis does happen, you’ll be ready.

1. Build a Crisis Management Team
This team must be people you trust. People that will work with you to ensure whatever Social Media Crisis you’re facing, this is the team to handle it.

2. Establish a Communication Plan
You want to make sure everyone is in the know with real time information. Slack, Outlook, WhatsApp, a simple group text are all wonderful options, but make sure you are sticking to just one when crisis hits. This is also incredibly important – as you’ll want everyone on board with what content needs to be pushed out to mitigate the crisis.

3. Put Someone in Charge
Someone has to lead, and everyone needs to know who that is going to be. When you’re in crisis mode, it’s important to have a strong leader who can think quickly on their feet. This person will have final say about what content is published next, and will ultimately decide how to respond to the crisis. This person should be someone that everyone on the Crisis Management trusts.

4. Pause Scheduled Posts
Few things would be more embarrassing than having your scheduled content publish in the midst of a crisis. Make sure all scheduled posts are paused. You can always schedule them again later.

5. Respond to the Crisis
No matter what the crisis is, respond to it. Don’t ignore it. If it was a mistake by someone on your team, apologize for it. The most important thing here is honesty. You don’t want to lose ALL credibility in one day.

6. Learn for Next Time
Actor Ryan Reynolds, a personal hero of mind, once said, “Any kind of crisis can be good. It wakes you up.” So, wake up. Learn from what happened this time, and don’t repeat the same pattern that led to the crisis you just faced.

A Social Media Crisis may never come. But if it does, make sure you’re prepared!