- Danah Boyd, social media researcher for Microsoft
If you have a strong social media presence for long enough, crisis is bound to strike. Whether a stray tweet intended for your personal account makes its way onto the dealership’s main feed, or a sales pitch mishap becomes an embarrassing viral phenomenon, it’s undeniable that you have plenty of company. But you can’t hide your face in your hands forever - and the strength of your brand is truly tested in the wake of a social media disaster. So before you hurry to delete your company’s entire Facebook page, read the following cases for tips on how to get all that digital egg off your face.
CASE STUDY: Red Cross
THE CRISIS: While multitasking with Twitter management software HootSuite, a distracted associate charged with Red Cross’s social media efforts mistakenly tweeted the following from the institution’s account:
CASE STUDY: JetBlue
THE CRISIS: After a harsh blizzard struck the Northeast U.S. in the fall of 2011, over 100 JetBlue passengers were left stranded on the Connecticut tarmac for 7 hours - without access to food or a functional bathroom. The airline’s lack of communication with its pilot or passengers led its customers to consider JetBlue callous and uncaring.
THE LESSON FOR AUTO DEALERS: Whenever you’re at fault for a screw-up, communication is key - and dealerships need to ensure that their apologies don’t fall on deaf ears. Make your customer communications as public as you can - through social media, announcements on your website, and live chat with individual customers. During a social media crisis, the worst thing you can do is maintain radio silence.