Recently a PR executive made headlines for sending out a careless tweet that subsequently ended her career. While she was unfortunately offline for a twelve-hour international flight, social media feeds were exploding around the world in reaction to her remarks. By the time she landed, her career was essentially destroyed.

This example may seem extreme but in actuality it can happen just as easily to any person or business that doesn’t have a comprehensive social media strategy in place to avoid or manage a social media disaster as it unfolds. By following these simple tips, your business can be sure to effectively navigate potential social media catastrophes.

1. Stay Connected
Social media never stops. You do not have the option of “turning off” social media at the end of the day when you leave the office. Make sure you have someone monitoring all social media channels at all times. You should also have a back up plan, including on-call staff, to make sure coverage is always provided.

2. Respond Compassionately, Professionally and Quickly
Social media channels are quickly becoming the first stop for customer complaints. This gives business owners the opportunity to both address issues in real time as well as intensify a problem if handled poorly. Social media managers need to keep in mind that maintaining a compassionate and professional attitude will go a long way in reducing the potential for a major crisis.

3. Be Prepared To Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse – Quickly
As a crisis escalates, understand that your goal is to squash it as quickly as possible with as little fanfare as possible. This may mean offering a substantial gift or favor as an apology. Make sure there are established processes in place to ensure that the decision to offer this gift can be made and executed without delay. Needing to wait for a manager to get on the phone late on a Saturday night can mean the difference between an angry customer and an angry customer with a mob following.

The rest of the original article is here.