Last week I had to manage a social media crisis for a school. Students were using the popular social media site to post and share material that upset other students and staff. Although possibly meant as a bit of fun, the “Hot or Not” page was anonymously taking personal pictures of students and publishing them. The school wanted to deal with this as soon as possible but didn’t appreciate how difficult it can be to get Facebook itself to react.
So instead of keeping quiet about the whole thing and hoping it would go away, I put my best social media crisis management hat on and convinced the school management to let me make a quick video with the help of the school counsellor and Yazan, from the third year.
Drawing on a strategic social media crisis plan that I’d thankfully prepared last year, I zipped around the school and got students and staff to tell me what they thought Facebook was for and what it’s not for.
Managing a Social Media Crisis Takes Preparation
The biggest takeaway for me with managing this crisis was not just how dangerous or unpredictable social media can be for your brand; it was more about the necessity for businesses to have a crisis management strategy and have fire-drilled for a quick response.
As a business you always need to be prepared to handle a social media crisis. In this case, the video was shot in less than half an hour, edited and quickly posted to YouTube and the school’s website and Facebook page. [Read more…]