It can take no time at all for a crisis to spread on social media, especially if there’s a strong emotional element to it, and it gives people an interesting story to get invested in.
An offline incident – like a plane suffering terrible turbulence, for example – gets filmed by a passenger and posted to social media. People can relate to the fear and panic. They comment on the video and share it. Other people start speculating about the cause and wondering if the plane has landed safely. People might use a flight tracker to get the flight number, and before the airline knows it, it’s getting contacted by worried family members of those on board.
Incidents like these happen every day somewhere in the world, but in the age of social media, these events are no longer strictly local. They become global and can affect global customer perception.
It’s essential that brands prepare for a crisis breaking over social media as thoroughly as they can.
Brands that have the right preparation, planning and training in place to meet a variety of potential crises stand the best chance of managing a crisis well.