Is an online shitstorm preventive?
58 million users produce 369 billion e-mails, 4.75 billion Facebook and 95 million Instagram posts. This is a huge amount of content on a daily basis for social media platforms. The variety of posts represents the whole spectrum of socially triggered emotions, from the constructive and positive end to the destructive.
The section of negative online comments is mostly occupied by religious fanatics, trolls, cyber-stalkers, spam machines, or simply disillusioned online community members. But how can a brand deal with this negative image maker in a highly professional way and how can we even prevent it to happen?
First of all – ignoring the feedbacks only makes it worse. For you, your product and your company. An unsolved online conflict escalates quickly on a multimedia level and suddenly you land on a newspaper front page or the 8 ó clock news on TV. This scenario isn’t quite unusual for companies we know. And they all haven’t had the correct methods of approach. Why? Because there are just few experts on this field? Maybe. But the biggest potential is that crisis management online isn’t taken seriously, until the storm has arised.
Do you have to search for remedy of a symptom when you can prevent the disease? Here are the 4 first aid steps for a shitstorm prevention:
Is this just an opinion of a person or the feedback of a significant target group that is escalating quickly?
How harmful can the story behind the comment be for my company and how could it possibly be blown up by the community
With a private message, in your social media feed or maybe call a lawyer? What are the counter arguments and how can we reach the conscience of this bad tempered group of people?
Create a detailed process chain and guidelines, how the shitstorm is being handled in order to prevent it from escalating furthermore.
It may sound simple, but it is still complicated to know when, how or what to communicate in this matter. 87% of the comments or likes are given directly after the post went live. In these 15 minutes, experts need to moderate the conversation.
But let´s face it – sometimes the dynamic of a shitstom arises from a minor disappointment from one customer, who has not been treated well in sales or service. So it is equally important to sensitize your employees and to enable them to recognize that a conflict with a customer can potentially become public with immediate effect by a single, outrageous social media comment. If we prevent the escalation from happening at this point, the conflict between you and your customer can be solved under the radar of your online followers. This is the most effective way of shit storm prevention.
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