Sanjay Mehta lists 8 ways how brands can handle real and false negativity on social media

27 Aug,2012

By Sanjay Mehta

 

1. By setting up listening posts (“social media monitoring”) so they are not taken by surprise and can deal with issues proactively, once they discover them

 

2. By having a well-defined protocol and a workflow to manage normal responses to negativity

 

3. By also having a plan to handle and manage a potential PR crisis, while praying hard that such crisis actually do not happen at all!

 

4. By ring-fencing the brand well to ensure that miscreant activity is curtailed and as and when it happens, it is dealt with, firmly

 

5. In the event of false information that cannot be recognized easily by people, going out with the correct information, with proof, with details, with credibility, to give “their side of the story”

 

6. By owning up to their own mistakes once in a while, being honest to admit those, not hesitating to say ‘sorry, we screwed up, but we are working to fix it’

 

7. By creating their own content on social media, giving out interesting, lesser known information, so that consumers have a peak at the real story

 

8. Most importantly though, by being out there, ‘talking’ to the consumers, engaging with them, establishing a dialogue with them, winning their confidence, in normal times, and not just when there is a crisis!

 

PS: Governments also need to follow the same strategy. Yes, governments are no different to brand managers, in this respect. The earlier that they understand and accept this, the better it is for them.

 

Sanjay Mehta is Joint CEO, Social Wavelength

 

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