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Lauren Wegmann
Digital Supervisor
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Miss the third trend in Digital Crisis Management? Check it out here.

It’s safe to say that not everything on the internet is 100 percent truthful. Facts can be misconstrued, information biased and sides of the story completely left out. Don’t let this happen to you, your clients, or your brand. Get in front of the story, correct any false information and give your point of view, so that unfavorable articles are not on top of consumers’ search queries.

Early intervention is key in dealing with a crisis when it comes to search engines. The earlier a brand can get in front of the media, your social networks and stakeholders to share first-hand knowledge of what’s occurred, the better. Prompt interference allows your brand’s message to be included in, and possibly drive, the narrative. If media inquiries or social posts are left unanswered, there’s a large gap of missing information that left open to be shaped by those outside of the situation. A true win is seeing your messaging on the top of Google’s search results helps control the story, the chatter and overall brand perception.

80 percent of internet users start their session with an organic search. If that search is a query of your brand, or the crisis, you want to have your brand POV reflected in the top search results. It is extremely difficult to dislodge top content once it is established in existing search results.

What does this mean? Time is of the essence and quick responses are essential to this fragile composition: media statement, landing page that houses important facts and updates, social media activity and more. This doesn’t guarantee placement of your preferred narrative at the top of search engine results, but it can increase the likelihood.

Another important fact to note is that organic search is sensitive to social media content, due to the cross-linking. Take advantage of this and incorporate into your response strategy. This goes back to our discussion of dialogue and being responsive on all online profiles. Incorrect information or perception must be immediately addressed and corrected and issues must be resolved as close to real-time as possible.

Something to avoid: a Facebook post getting upwards of 100 shares, before you have a chance to respond to the issue at hand. The more interactions a negative post has, the more likely it is to end up on top of search engine results. Not only acknowledging feedback, but also having difficult conversations decrease the likelihood negative posts end up on search engines, furthering the crisis.

Tune in next week for the fifth and final tip in digital crisis management. Until then, let us know how your company is dealing with problematic search engines results. Tweet us your tips @DEVENEYnola, using hashtag #DEVchat.


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