June 9, 2023

Crisis Communication on Social media

By Sijie Li and Henry Cromett

Image from SayItSocial

On Tuesday, April 28th, we had a good discussion about the relationship between social media and crisis communication. Once we got into the lecture, we learned that what active listening is and the importance of active listening on social media responding to customers. Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person to improve mutual satisfaction. Kelli contributed a good quote regarding this subject during the lecture, “Two ears and one mouth, that means you should be listening twice much as you are talking”. We also learned a lot about free “listening” tools that help monitor social media, such as tweet alarms, Google alerts (recommended tool) and message boards, etc. The key of managing crisis communication is figuring out what you are listening for. You are always supposed to collect data first and then you can analyze the data to get some deep insights regarding the information you just heard. In the end, you are then a reliable source to give some actionable recommendations. You can only make clear and accurate recommendations after gathering and carefully analyzing the data.

We also talked about two case studies in class. The hashtag #Amazonfail went viral after authors with gay or lesbian themes in their works realized that their books no longer appeared in searches, due to a change in Amazon policy, which blocked “adult themes.” The #amazonfail hashtag quickly caught on, and was used to ridicule Amazon. The hashtag picked up steam rapidly, and soon was trending worldwide. Amazon was very slow to respond, and by the time they did, a lot of damage had been done. They also responded by blaming a glitch in the search code, which made it seem like a hollow excuse, and didn’t really offer a genuine apology, or reach out to any of the authors. This was definitely an example of how not to handle a crisis.

Image from imgur.com

In addition, we also took a look at Budlight, which just recently was trending because of their “Up for Whatever” campaign. They were/are under attack for one of their bottle designs, which featured the tagline “remove no from your vocabulary for the night.” It’s pretty clear to see where they were trying to go with this. But it obviously missed badly, especially with the ongoing discussion of rape culture right now.

Generally in a crisis the best thing to do from a social media standpoint is, “tell it first, tell it fast, tell people what you’re gonna do about it,” quote from Kelli Matthews.

Here is the twitter discussion from the class: