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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 22, 2019

Top 3 tips to a strong social media response

Upset and annoyed consumers are increasingly turning to social media to air their beefs with brands and marketers. And, while many brands do respond to these consumers most don't have a specific strategy in place to help control the damage. Here are three tips to help brands better use social media as a crisis response tool.

by Kristina Knight

First, create a crisis response plan

"Eighty percent of organizations have responded to crisis situations at least once in the past two years. However, according to ​recent data​ from Crisp and PR News, only 32% of PR professionals say they have an up-to-date crisis plan that's continually reviewed," said Adam Hildreth, CEO, Crisp. "It's important for this plan to be built by modeling potential harms, mapping out how to handle them and sharing messaging with the C-suite to ensure everyone is on board with the best practices to triage the problem. The more a brand is prepared in advance, the more equipped they will be to deal with a situation when it arises."

Second, align both company leadership and internal response teams

"There is no universal consensus on what a crisis is, simply because it's different for each brand. While most companies take a reactive approach to crisis communications, alignment on what will ultimately impact revenue, employees, and customers is a discussion worth having to ensure company success. This includes having templated messaging on foreseeable potential harms beforehand so there isn't death by committee when a crisis strikes. Death by committee means the brand is not likely to be first to act on a crisis situation and a speedy response is critical," said Hildreth. "The CEO should be involved, as well as the CCO, Head of Comms, Head of Public Affairs [and other leaders]."

Third, invest in social media monitoring

"Sixty-nine percent ​of brand crises spread internationally within a day, 28% in the first hour. However, nearly 9 in 10 PR professionals say that if a crisis with serious brand impact were to occur at 3 a.m., they would not have a service or team to wake them up. When crises spread that fast, time is of the essence. Companies must invest in social monitoring to help them stay ahead of harmful content, wherever the brand is being talked about. A monitoring solution enables brands to have a guaranteed process when initiating their crisis plan as well as minimize false alarms which ultimately can lead to real issues being ignored," said Hildreth. "It's important to note that these solutions aren't strictly based on technology. For a truly impactful monitoring solution, brands need to incorporate humans into the process to provide round-the-clock analysis of potential harms and determine if they need to be escalated, or if it's a false alarm.Ultimately, this combination of AI and humans represents an emerging kind of intelligence called extended intelligence. Extended intelligence enables organizations to listen more effectively to how content is being spread across their channels and inform their crisis plans accordingly."

Tags: customer response tips, ecommerce, social marketing, social marketing tips, social media customer service

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