When (And When Not) To Let Sleeping Dogs Lie in Social Care

By Victoria Rodriguez | @victoriaa_renae  

Social media is a powerful tool used by individuals to voice their opinions, whether good or bad. With this tool, word gets out fast and easily, so it is important for companies to know when and when not to let sleeping dogs lie in social care.

Preparation is key in any situation. You cannot control what people say about your brand, and often times you do not want to filter conversations about your brand so you can gain exposure. You want there to be as much conversation about your brand as possible showing the good, and even the bad. While you cannot control what people say online, you can prepare your brand for a possibility of an online crisis, and avoid a PR tragedy through your preparedness.

So, how do you know when a crisis is evolving online? Specific keyword searches within online streams of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter filtered to your brand and industry are extremely helpful when sifting through the online conversations. Keywords can include any words relevant to potential crisis within your industry, ranging from ‘fire’ to ‘gross’ and anywhere in between. Of course, you’ll get the occasional irrelevant use of a crisis keyword, which should be ignored. However, if the keyword is mentioned with any context to your brand, it is important to still respond in a timely manner either asking for more information through an email or direct message, or for them to reach you through another external link. This is necessary to get the conversation offline, before it escalates and allows you to look into the issue further. When the conversation does escalate, you will see more than 10 negative mentions within an hour, and then you know it is time to implement your plan for handling online crisis which entails contact information of those involved in the case, such as the PR department, CEO, etc, who handle escalated issues.

When crisis strikes, it is important that a social care team acts fast, and sincerely.  Once something goes viral, it is important to let people know that you are aware of the situation and are looking into it or handling the situation, being sure not to place the blame on anyone. However, once more information arises it is important to be as transparent as possible and take responsibility when it is appropriate and necessary to gain trust.

Now, how do you know “when to let sleeping dogs lie” in social care? Of course, all feedback is important, however you know your brand’s social media presence better than anyone else does, and while monitoring social media platforms on a daily basis, you begin to realize who the spammers are, and come across trolls. (I’m not talking about those creepy dolls from the ‘90s with the crazy hair.) Internet trolls try to add fuel to the fire and scour the Internet looking to start arguments, post irrelevant content, and just try to cause overall trouble. You always want to think the best, but the only way to truly defeat an Internet troll is to not give them the time of day.

No one is perfect, and people understand that issues arise within a brand. When a crisis is handled with genuine care by a good social care team, people take note and are willing to return to your brand and give you another shot. Just always, always watch out for those trolls.

If you need help troll hunting, give us a ring and we can help you out!