Spend extra time with major players in social media
In a crisis management situation you’ll be taking fire from many directions, and sometimes just monitoring and responding to inquiries on social media can take more time than you’ve got. When you’re at risk of getting overwhelmed, finding ways to engage with key participants in the conversation can help you get your message out. This quote, from a Reputation in Action blog post, explains how it works:
Fostering engagement. In the first phases of a crisis, it is important to understand where the threat is strongest. The most angry and most influential relays need to be addressed very quickly. Even if you have very little to offer, identifying the greatest detractors and simply acknowledging you have heard their complaint and are doing everything to look into it, is a great help. This stops the flame wars and buys you (a little) time to prepare for the next step. Since you cannot respond to millions in a few hours, your monitoring must help you pinpoint the most important stakeholders to talk with.
Monitoring isn’t too tough, even if your operation is a small one. Grab a social media suite (we prefer TweetDeck or HootSuite), set up searches for your name and any related keywords you’d like to track, then get to work! Once you identify discontented stakeholders, take a close look at the number of followers they have and how often they’re being re-Tweeted to single out the most influential individuals. Note that this isn’t going to work if you ignore every other inquiry, but some in-depth conversation with a few key influencers could make a very positive impact on your crisis management efforts.
The BCM Blogging Team