We have seen it happen over and over. A negative report spreads about a school – could be true, untrue or exaggerated. Everyone is talking about it, but no one knows for sure what part is factual if any. Then a few days after, the school hastily opens a Twitter account or revives a dormant one to tell their side of the story – only, it’s already too late. Opinions have been formed. Impressions have been shaped. Trust has been shattered.
A proverb says, “A horse is prepared for the day of battle…” In a world where the balance of power has shifted, authorities have come under greater scrutiny, and customers are more sensitive, it becomes imperative that school owners remain vigilant. Even “innocuous” actions can turn into a crisis. Also, with 95% of business owners saying their crises management plans need improvement, here are four reasons to create a social media management plan
When you face crises, you might think it is always best not to react at all, hoping that the situation will blow over. But, allowing other people to control the narrative when an unpleasant event happens will damage your school’s reputation.Slvr Wlf Insights
4 Reasons to Create a Social Media Crisis Management Plan
Creating a Social Media Crisis Management Plan is the First Step in Preventing a Crisis:
One of the first lines of action in your social media crisis management strategy is creating an open and consistent line of communication with your audience. So, you must have a social media presence and run them efficiently as a customer care line. In doing this, you build trust. When a crisis happens, your clients and prospects will be more than ready to give you the benefit of the doubt.
A Social Media Crisis Management Plan Keeps you on top of the Situation:
Most times, schools get to know about a crisis after their community knows about it and begins calling their line to get their reaction. When your crisis management plan includes regular social listening, you will not be the last to hear about the crisis, which will quicken your response time.
Every Crisis Presents an Opportunity:
Your social media management strategy should ideally include lines of action that will turn your situation into an opportunity. For one, it is an opportunity to show that you are indeed responsive. Also, you have a chance to show that you are reasonable. Sometimes, your response might be to issue an apology and present a line of action to address the situation. And this will certainly earn you brownie points if done correctly.
Creating a Social Media Crisis Management Plan Ensures that your Operations Keep Running Despite a Crisis:
Crises are disruptive. Depending on how serious they are, you may be forced to shut down your school until they are resolved. As mentioned earlier, when you have a strategy in place, your crisis response time is shorter. A quicker response means fewer disruptions for your business.
You might think posting about a crisis is negative publicity for your school. For this reason, you might think it is always best not to react at all, hoping that the situation will blow over. But, allowing other people to control the narrative when an unpleasant event happens will damage your school’s reputation.
Of course, “controlling the narrative” does not mean coming to lie about the situation. Instead, it might involve apologising. It might also mean keeping silent, setting the record straight, or fighting back in cases of malicious intent. Taking one or more of these actions generates an overall positive image for your school.
Reputation crises involving schools are easy to start and hard to contain. It might also be confusing to know what to do when a crisis occurs. It is for this reason that Slvr Wlf advocates that the best approach to crisis management is to prevent unpleasant situations to start with. If you need any help managing your social media to avoid a crisis, contact us here for a free consultation. We have also written about how you can get started on reputation management here.