February 7, 2017
While Twitter itself may be saved by President Trump’s frequent use, some companies have growing concerns about how his Tweets could negatively impact their business. Preparing a contingency plan to help guide responses and actions following a Trump Twitter targeting is now a reality nearly every organization must face.
Here’s a few tips:
Face the reality
Think it won’t happen to you? Think again. It’s happened to individuals and companies of all sizes. It can have a significant impact, even across an entire industry: Airline stocks fell 29 percent after the Executive Order on immigration.
Ask some hard questions
In what situations would you take a stand against negative commentary targeting your company? How would you do it without making the situation potentially last longer online? Trump is a polarizing figure, with supporters and antagonists spread throughout your organization. How do you stay true to your brand promise when creating any response strategy?
Create some guidelines
If you are targeted and decide to respond, having guidelines in place now and agreed in advance before things get emotional can save precious time later. Will we respond via the same medium? Will we use something else? If the Tweet is inaccurate but not necessarily negative, do we even bother to correct it? If it is both negative and inaccurate, how can we leverage third parties (e.g. industry trade associations, etc.) to correct it on our behalf in addition to providing our own response?
Establish a rapid response team
Having a few folks who specialize in social media, marketing, public relations and legal at the ready to evaluate the situation and decide whether to respond is critical. Also critical is having a social media monitoring system in place so you can see what’s being said online in real time, regardless of whether you actually end up responding. And get an outside view from some experts in crisis communications to discuss best practice in this evolving threat.
In many cases, the best response may be no response at all. The social media universe hops from crisis to crisis faster than cars racing at Daytona. So yes, it will blow over. But having a process in place in advance to decide when it’s time to actively defend your brand versus when it’s time to wait and let the storm pass will help you make good decisions under pressure if the time comes.