At some point, almost every marketer will have to deal with someone saying bad things about their brand in social media, regardless of whether the brand actively manages its own social presence.

This can be as simple as someone tweeting that they hate the music in the brand's new TV commercial, but it might be a critical situation that will have a lasting impact on the business's bottom line.

Regardless of how serious the issue, though, the most important thing we can do as marketers is to be prepared for such situations before they arise.

This was the topic of my presentation at SES Singapore today, where I outlined We Are Social's approach to preparing for, and dealing with, negative issues in social media.

The approach focuses on our simple '3As' framework:

  • Alert: identify potential issues as early as possible
  • Assess: determine the severity of the issue, and involve key stakeholders as required
  • Act: manage the issue as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

The complete SlideShare deck above outlines the steps, policies and procedures that will help you to ensure you're best positioned to manage any potential negative issue, addressing:

  • How to define your social media community 'house rules'
  • The definition of appropriate roles and responsibilities
  • The importance of social media listening
  • How to classify the severity of a negative incident
  • The difference between a response and resolution
  • How to deliver effective, engaging responses that add business value.
  • The importance of behaving like a brand concierge
  • Ensuring the broader organisation can learn from its mistakes

This document is designed to be a practical guide for preparation as well as live management of any potential issues, so we're pleased to make it available for free download so that you have immediate access to it wherever and whenever you might need it.

We recognise that every business is different though, so please feel free to email us with any questions, or tweet them to us via @wearesocialsg.

* If you can't access SlideShare, you'll find the presentation as a PDF here.