I recently assisted two small business owners with crisis response. While I’m still processing everything that happened for one of them, we could actually see it coming and were able to do several things on social media to prepare for critics bombarding their Facebook page (which they did for 7 straight days!)
This owner posted a response to a tragedy that happened at her place of business. We all thought this would give a bit of closure to everyone involved. Nope.
Within the hour, a very long, inflamed and inaccurate post was shared by someone who was a third party to the tragedy. We starting watching the page very closely. Soon, the mob appeared and started a cycle of heated words, accusations and (wait for it) more inaccurate information.
While the response was complicated and involved, here are the four things we did to mitigate the public outcry.
- Enhanced monitoring on the channel for 48 hours and aggressively remove anything that was clearly profane, spam or plagiarized.
- Used the “three strikes” rule. Any person who posts the same message three times on the page, is banned. This is a common protest tactic and is meant to spike the Facebook algorithm.
- Turned off the Reviews function because they cannot be removed and in crisis, people leaving a rating have rarely used the business. They are merely expressing their discontent.
- Changed the page settings to moderated. So no one could make a post to the wall, only comment on existing posts.
So how can this help you during your next crisis? Now is a great time to check your settings and make sure you know how to turn on and off all these features if and when you need them.