The wedding industry isn’t exactly thought of as a high crisis business. Yes, we see our fair share of bad weather issues and cancelled events, but for the most part we like to keep it fairly low-key. With that being said, with the rise of social media over the last five to 10 years, issues are bound to happen as part of how you run your business.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to handle a social media crisis.
As with any crisis plan, it’s best to try and plan ahead for every kind of situation. Begin by listing potential scenarios, including everything from someone hacking your accounts to an unhappy client or fellow vendor blasting you all over social media and review sites. To ensure you have prepared for everything, ask your employees and other trusted colleagues for their thoughts as well and be sure to re-visit every six months or so to see if there is anything new you can add to the list.
After you have a list of scenarios, start outlining general responses for each, remembering that they are simply guides that will need to be tweaked for each situation. The last thing you want is to respond to multiple bad reviews with identical verbiage. Clients will notice that immediately.
Remove the emotion
This is sometimes easier said than done. When a client has just posted a scathing message on any of your social media channels that you believe is unfair, you understandably want to jump on and defend yourself right away. Don’t fall into the trap. Instead, take a few minutes (even if you can only spare a couple) and think through your next move. That way, when you do respond, it’s with a clear head rather than one that is clouded with emotion. If you find yourself getting into a negative back-and-forth with someone, work quickly to get the conversation offline so it remains between you and the client, instead of you, the client, and everyone else in the social media stratosphere.
Surround yourself with the best
I am often asked how I seemingly “do it all,” and my answer is always, “I don’t.” I have been lucky enough to surround myself with a team of people that help keep my business’ engine going. From my accountant and financial advisor to my business coaches and stellar attorney, I know that I can go to any of them for any situation I find myself in to get professional advice that I trust.
Social media can be a great ally in this day and age, but with prospective clients, current clients, and other vendors having 24-hour access to your brand, it can leave you more susceptible to negativity. The best remedy is simply to be prepared and remember to remain calm when dealing with a crisis.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.