With billions of users now voicing their annoyances and grievances while getting their news on social media, brands are exposed like never before, vulnerable to criticism 24/7 365 days a year. An insensitive campaign, executive scandal, or data breach can go viral before you know it, negatively impacting your customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders. Brands simply can’t afford to be unprepared. With social monitoring software or social listening tools, organizations can stay ahead of a potential crisis and carry out more effective crisis management. They can use social monitoring tools to protect their brand reputation and mitigate the impact of bad press or a blunder that’s now suddenly on everyone’s radar.
Tools businesses can leverage for their crisis management efforts
Social media monitoring tools help businesses monitor and track mentions of their brand on social channels—on social networks, blogs, discussion forums, and even news media—and collect metrics useful for assessing brand health. They can be alerted to critical comments, a decrease in follower growth, or a spike in conversations about their brand, letting them assess the impact of an issue and act fast to resolve the situation before it snowballs into a crisis.
With the addition of social media analysis, social listening tools enable firms to not only collect metrics and aggregate their mentions from social channels but also leverage powerful analytics technology such as sentiment analysis. This can be used to detect shifting sentiment, i.e. positive or negative feelings, among online audiences and measure sentiment over time, which enables companies to quickly determine how consumers are reacting to a crisis and responding to an organization’s efforts to manage it. Social listening tools provide firms with information essential for analyzing the threat, risk, and impact of a crisis.
Best practices for successful crisis management
Using the right monitoring tools is just one component of an effective social media crisis management strategy. Here are some key practices your organization may want to consider before a crisis strikes.
- Be prepared. Build a crisis management team, bringing together members from your PR, legal, customer support, and marketing teams, and define a crisis management plan.
- Monitor social channels round the clock using social listening tools to detect growing negative sentiment and issues that are starting to trend. The last thing you need is a surprise when it comes to the speed of the internet.
- Act fast but respond thoughtfully when a crisis strikes. It’s important to acknowledge people’s concerns and offer a response in a timely manner. Get your message out immediately—whether by press release, FAQs on your website, or via social media.
- Keep monitoring online conversations during the crisis to see how consumers react in order to assess the effectiveness of your response and adjust your messaging as necessary.
To-dos for effective social crisis management
The worst part about a crisis is that it’s unexpected. It strikes suddenly. Even with the right tools in place, companies can find themselves in a panic when what could have been a minor snafu becomes a major news story. Here’s a short to-do list to keep your efforts focused:
- Assemble the members of your crisis management team, assess the severity of the crisis, and decide on an appropriate spokesperson.
- Create an internal communication plan to keep your employees, suppliers, and key stakeholders informed about the crisis.
- Establish your key message, choose the most effective channels on which to deliver it, and set up an approval process for further communication.
- Provide a timely response to the crisis on your website and social channels and monitor consumer reception using social monitoring tools.
Stay ahead of the story on social: Carry out with proactive crisis management with Synthesio
Trusted by global brands, Synthesio’s Social Intelligence Suite provides users with the social listening and analytics tools they need to prepare for, detect, and respond effectively to an emerging crisis. Using Synthesio’s social listening dashboards you can track fluctuating sentiment and conversations in over 80 languages across the global social web. Set up alerts to be notified in the case of a spike in conversations about your product or a significant shift in sentiment so that you can act fast to reassure consumers and protect your brand’s hard-earned reputation.
With Synthesio, you can take the pulse of the online public while your team responds to the crisis, letting you adjust your communication strategy and messaging on the fly. Monitor your Social Reputation Score, a proprietary Synthesio metric, alongside other useful social media KPIs, to evaluate the progress of your crisis management efforts in real-time and ensure full recovery of brand health after the storm recedes.