Three lessons learnt from Alton Towers on using social media in crisis

(Alton Towers)

(Alton Towers)

The news of the horrific incident at Alton Towers that left four people with serious injuries has shocked many, particularly as this has been stated as the biggest incident to happen at the UK theme park based in Staffordshire.

It’s been a tough couple of days for the much-loved park, but it has been doing a sterling job in social media. Here are three lessons we can learn from Alton Towers when using social media in times of crisis.

There have been some angry customers, plenty of accusations and most of all a plethora of questions from customers wanting to know when the park will be open again.

Lesson one: Keep everyone as best updated as possible

Alton Towers has been updating both Facebook and Twitter frequently with the same information that they have been giving to the press. This means that all information across all touch points is consistent and there is no confusion or conflicting news. As soon as Alton Towers decided not to open for a second day in a row, this was posted on the website and in social media.

Lesson two: Be as open and honest as possible

Alton Towers has also been answering every single question they have received in tweets and Facebook posts. This must have been a hard job, particularly when they probably don’t know the answers to plenty of the questions coming in. However they have done their best to satisfy the customers by offering as much information as they can. Keeping the tone of voice honest and open shows they are trying to be as transparent with customers as possible and are not hiding information.

Lesson three: Reply to everyone, not just the complainers

Alton Towers has actually been receiving a large amount of praise and support for their customer service during this difficult time. When its receives positive comments, the company is replying to them using the customer’s name to ensure their support is thanked on a more personal level than just saying, “Thanks for the tweet.” It’s obviously going to be a struggle for Alton Towers to regain trust from their customers, but at least for now they are treating them with respect and offering as much support and help through social media as possible.

Alison Battisby, social media consultant and founder of Avocado Social