Social Media Gone Bad: Have a Plan

No matter how sound your social media strategy, things can potentially veer off into a ditch. It’s important to have a pre-determined plan in place for unexpected social media mayhem, even if you never need it. You don’t want to be confronted with a digital disaster that requires response and be stuck trying to determine what needs handling and by whom.

Let’s look to the social media sharing app, Buffer, as a shining example of how to handle the unforeseen. In the face of a security breach, they had a plan in place and they executed it seamlessly.

Accountability: They immediately notified their users of the situation. When something goes wrong, own it. Most people understand that things don’t always go as planned, especially in relationship to business. They really value companies that own their mishaps.

Directive: Buffer gave brief, easy-to-follow bullets on what their users did and did not need to do to protect their information.

Validation: They acknowledged the seriousness of the breach and the far-reaching impact to their users. Buffer’s initial notification stated: “I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now… I am incredibly sorry this has happened and affected you and your company.” They got it. We rely on our trusted providers to take care of us. When things go haywire, customers need to know they matter.

Communication: The folks at Buffer updated consistently on Facebook and Twitter and also responded to all emails and comments. They notified users of progress as the weekend wore on, the solution, increased security measures to prevent future incidents. Buffer even provided visibility on how many accounts were affected by the security breach [6.3%].

Things will invariably go wrong. The level and quality of response makes the difference. Buffer responded like superstars in the face of challenge. Despite the negative nature of the event, Buffer turned it into a win. They demonstrated outstanding customer service, and galvanized the trust relationship they’ve cultivated with their customer base on social media. Financial advisor social media strategy should include a built-in response plan. Hopefully, you’ll never need to reach for it. If you do, you’ll be armed with a plan that reassures your clients they’ve aligned themselves with the best.

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