How to respond when Social Media attacks your brand? (via Mashable)

Just as I was writing about my terrible ordeal with the telemarketer for the iStrategy2010 conference (on Social Media, no less) [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3], I stumbled upon this helpful article via Mashable: How to respond when Social Media attacks your brand?

It’s a great article with real case studies of how three brands were attacked via Social Media and what they did to respond. Here are my key takeaways:

  1. Stop the attack before it escalates. It’s very easy to jump on to the “bashing bandwagon.” You must realise that social media is essentially a network, with implicit assumptions of trust and credibility (by network members), and a built-in capacity for rapid dissemination of news. Think of what that means when people start bashing your brand.
  2. Listen to your customer. Social media is social. You’re in a dialogue/discussion now. Gone are the days of monologues or one-way conversations. These days, the customer has the tools that empower them to be heard… so start listening for real!
  3. Have a plan. Crisis communications and issues management is no longer just about managing print and broadcast media. Now, anyone and everyone with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn can spread the news. Make sure you have a plan that takes that into consideration.
  4. Monitor social media. Set up some capability to monitor social media channels. You’ll want to know what’s being said about you and where so that you can respond quickly.
  5. Engage! As I said, social media is social! To earn the right to be heard (and therefore respond to allegations), you must participate in the conversation!
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