Brand Damage & Social Media: 4 Ways to Recover

Brand Damage & Social Media: 4 Ways to Recover

Anthony Wiener Social Media Fails to Redeem Personal Brand[av_dropcap1]S[/av_dropcap1]ocial media is everywhere. The smallest business can punch well above its weight with an effective media strategy.  Yet, what social media giveth it also taketh, painfully, even destructively.

Anthony Wiener’s recent failed efforts at rehabilitating his name/brand remind us how quickly a personal brand can be harmed and how hard it can be to win it back.

Here are 4 ideas to help you weather negative attention that can harm your brand.

Have a Plan.  You have a social media marketing strategy.  Have a social media disaster plan as well.  Develop an action plan to deal with a misplaced tweet, a negative review or comment, or a distraught client.

Respond Quickly. Information about you or your products can pop up anywhere. That includes bad reviews and comments.  Polls consistently show consumers are more likely to write a bad review following a poor experience than a good review after a great experience.  Address the issue quickly.  Use the same media channel where the offense took place.  Be specific and detailed in the way you have fixed the problem or how you have changed policies to prevent a reoccurrence. Often just the outreach and effort are sufficient to placate an offended commenter. If the author of the negative review is unwilling to remove the review, leave follow-up comments of resolution on the review board.

Be an Open Book. Accept full responsibility for the mistake and move on.  Bill Clinton’s famous finger wagging at the press core with a technical explanation of his behavior gave open field for the story to continue to run. President Clinton tried to contain the more damning aspects of his behavior with misdirection.  As more details emerged the public felt that the President was not honest and thus, not genuine in his contrition.  Find all of the edges of a mistake and shoulder the responsibility.  No sense in trying to defuse a bomb after it has already gone off.

Be Genuine. No one likes to get a form letter, hear “your call is very important to us” or get an apology that feels disingenuous.  Using social media to convey an apology has the downside of not being able to convey emotion, tone, or feeling as effectively as if one were in apologizing in person. Don’t be creative or funny.  Many social media sites have functionality to send canned responses.  Don’t use them.

Remember, your brand needs to survive and thrive.

When a media misstep or brand damaging event occurs remember that clients and customers are people who just want to be treated decently.

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