The number one rule of social media: Total transparency, total authenticity. Try to ignore, dismiss, delete, or control criticism, and customers will simply create their own forum. On the Internet another place to talk about you is always one click away -- and so are millions of other customers instantly listening to the chatter, good or bad.
But as they say, in crisis lies opportunity: During a crisis all attention is on your brand. If you embrace the moment to speak directly to customers, showing that the brand listens and cares, you can not just turn it around, but emerge with stronger relationships and a clearer brand identity than ever.
-- from The CMO's Social Media Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Leading Marketing Teams in the Social Media World, by Peter Friedman, the CEO and Chairman of LiveWorld. @PeterFriedman