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Got the SCAD Virus?

It’s every community manager’s nightmare: their well-deserved weekend offline turns into a full crisis come Monday morning when they realize unhappy customers have been lambasting the brand unheeded on social channels.  Recently, we’ve been helping out with this epidemic that we’ve taken to calling SCAD—social crisis attention disorder.  When you least expect it, a frustrated consumer takes out their hostility for the entire community to see—and unfortunately the one not seeing it is the poor community manager.   We’ve even seen a case where the disgruntled customer wrote a post on his own Facebook wall (not the brand’s) and then ran his own sponsored post campaign around it so the entire world would see.  That’s like the modern day equivalent of taking out a newspaper ad about the crappy service!

I’ll tell you a little bit more about how Metaverse can help clean up a nasty case of SCAD, but first some thoughts from the frontline from someone who’s managed both on and offline crises—as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

Be prepared: make sure that your brand crisis plan clearly outlines who the decision makers are and how to contact them—the more time spent trying to figure that out, the faster a crisis brews and escalates.  Even more important, make sure those stakeholders understand the difference between reacting to an offline crisis and an online/social media crisis.  The old way of issuing a statement and walking away doesn’t cut it in social media—and believe me, many of the corporate decision makers probably need some education on that point before a case of the SCAD attacks.

Be honest: social media is all about building community—and the community can “smell a rat.”  If a company is hedging or not telling the truth or whole truth for whatever reason, the community will seize on that and end up making matters worse.  This is why it’s so important that corporate decision makers understand the unique nature of social media forums.

Be engaging: if under attack by advocates, bring them into the solution and ask for their help.  Also engage and be real with fans on the page—doing so encourages your advocates to come to your “rescue” by weighing in with comments like “they’re doing everything they can – give the poor social media guy a break.”

Of course, the best way to avoid a bad case of SCAD is to catch it early.  What’s a poor community manager to do—check the page every 15 minutes and get no sleep?  Of course not, let the team at Metaverse not get any sleep.  That’s what we’re here for!  Our moderation team works 24/7 and can watch the page, escalate situations as required, all so you can rest better knowing we’ll alert if the problem gets worse.  And we do it all on a flexible schedule—some brands have us monitor every evening and weekend, others have called us in a pinch Friday afternoon asking for help by 6pm that evening.  Whenever you sense a case of the SCAD coming on, don’t delay, give us a shout!

JP Buchmeyer, VP Digital Engagement
Jp {at}

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