A few weeks ago, I made the case for social media for venues. The good news is, all that’s still true. The bad news? As much power as social media has to benefit your venue is as much power as it has to damage it. But fear of negative comments is no reason to hold back! Just take some time before you jump in to put together a strategy for handling complaints or criticism.
Here’s a four-point plan of action to help you prepare:
What you don’t know can hurt you! It has to be someone’s job to monitor social media for mentions of your venue –and not just comments that appear directly on your profiles. Keep an eye out across all platforms with tools that can simplify this process like Social Mention and Hootsuite.
When and if an issue arises, gather as much information you can about the who, what, when, where and why and who you need to involve in your organization to address it.
Draft a tailored response for as many networks as necessary. Be considerate of tone and as timely and transparent as possible.
Post your response and prepare statements for any follow-up questions you can anticipate. Follow the same process for any further response to the issue.
Prevention Trumps Cure
Every bit as important as having a plan in place for handling issues on social media is having a plan for preventing them in the first place! These precautions primarily serve as protection against issues that arise internally but they can be every bit as damaging as an angry commenter or outright troll.
Start things off on the right foot by laying down the law about who is and isn’t allowed to publish posts on behalf of the venue. Ideally, this group is as small as possible and is comprised of employees with some degree of PR experience. If you can shrink it to just one person with primary responsibility and a second to serve as a backup, even better.
Second, follow best practices for password security on all your accounts. That means storing them on a secure server in a password protected spreadsheet or document. It also means changing them regularly and immediately following the departure of any employees who had access to the accounts.
Finally, create a two-step verification system for posting updates. This can seem like a bit of a hassle but it makes it much harder for ill-advised or downright damaging posts to see the light of day.
Looking for more info about social media and other digital strategies for venues? Download our latest Ebook for additional strategies.