SOCIAL FAIL! Addressing followers during a natural disaster
Let’s talk for a moment about timeliness and reactiveness when it comes to your social media accounts. Here’s an unfortunate scenario that shows how now, more than ever, social plays a key role in your business communications:
On Tuesday night, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Honduras, not far from the Cayman Islands. Imagine this: Upon seeing The Weather Channel notification about the earthquake and imminent Tsunami come across your phone, you immediately catch your breath not only because of the potential devastation to an already hurricane-ravaged area of the Caribbean, but also because you know your parents are en route to George Town, Cayman Islands.
For the next four hours, you cling to every social media post you can find, hoping to hear something, anything from the company responsible for your parents’ travel. But you hear nothing. Crickets. Other travel-related companies have notifications about their trips out within an hour of the news report. By now, thankfully, the Tsunami threat has been cancelled but, still, nothing about your parents’ trip. You send the travel company a direct message on Twitter, post on their Facebook page, send a Facebook Messenger note, comment on their Instagram post, and still … nothing. Not one response to your question begging for an update regarding your parents’ method of travel.
Finally, at 8 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning (10 hours after the earthquake), the travel company responds:
“Be assured that all travelers are safe and their travel has not been disrupted. Actually, your parents probably never even noticed anything.”
In other words, “Hey, we’re sorry we were late to the game, and our social media team doesn’t respond past business hours.”
Bottom line: In today’s digital age coupled with recent natural disasters, you cannot afford to let your social media slide. You must be proactive with information and reactive to your followers. Customers turn to social for the latest updates regarding the brands they follow. They expect you to keep them updated and address their concerns.
This travel company could’ve lost potential lifelong customers that day due to their lack of communication. Don’t be this company.