The internet has changed our lives in so many ways. The way companies respond to customers is no exception. If there was a crisis the business had at least 24 hours to deal with the problem. Now that time is cut to about an hour.
Immediacy is the big change and also the need to offer information. Eurostar has used Twitter as a marketing tool. Yet during the break down in the tunnel it avoided giving feedback via social media. This frustrated consumers who needed to know what is happening.
The way Virgin dealt with a train crash in 2007 is seen as best marketing practice. Get straight to the issue, confront the problem, be direct and sort the fall out. This is where Toyota suffered. They did not deal with the problem as a whole, it was a drip drip drip approach. Avoiding the issue never solves anything. They are fast becoming the way not to manage the crisis.
Steps for Using Social Media in Crisis
Be direct, clarify the extent of the problem
Confront the issues
Offer a solution
Take responsibility for communication. Social media really works very quickly so make it work for you. Or consumers will use social media against you