The Impact of Social Media in Today’s Crises

Erik Bernstein crisis communications, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, crisis public relations, Crisis Response, media training, online reputation management, public relations, reputation management, social media Leave a Comment

Today’s guest post comes to us from our colleague Melissa Agnes, who has made a name for herself guiding organizations through social media crisis management. Give it a read, and learn what you need to know about…

The Impact of Social Media in Today’s Crises

Social media has taken traditional business by surprise. Some have embraced it while others resist it, but in either cause the truth remains that social media, with it’s many opportunities and risks, is here to stay.

What role does social media play in your risk assessment and crisis plan?
With the sweet comes the sour and although social media brings a high level of advantages to your organization, along with it comes a fair share of new risk and unpredictability.

Your audience’s voice can now stretch far and wide, and without a thorough assessment of the implications it can have on your organization’s online reputation, and the scenarios for which can take place, you’re left at the mercy of whatever negative situation may unpredictably arise for your brand. From a hopeful campaign that turns into a series of negative attacks (McDonald’s, Chapstick, Groupon), to a change in corporate direction (Susan G. Komen), a misguided mistake by an employee or company representative (The Red Cross, Domino’s Pizza) – straight through to a hazardous situation that leaks before it’s time (Fontaine Santé), the possibilities and scenarios are endless and, as a crisis goes, find a way to present themselves when they’re least expected.

How do you prepare against it and – gasp – learn to embrace it?
There is a silver lining! When handled correctly, a social media crisis can actually transform itself from a negative, brand-damaging situation, into a positive and opportune campaign for your organization. The smartest brands out there have been known to come out of a spontaneous attack with more loyal fans and customers than they had going in – along with more sales and a far broader positive reach on their market to boot!

Now doesn’t that sound like an opportune scenario that you’d be willing to take full advantage of!

All it requires is the proper risk assessment and crisis planning in order to put your organization at a strategic advantage. Leveraging a social media crisis to your company’s unique advantage, as I’m sure you can imagine, offers a wide range of opportunity that brands have never before had – and many are still unable to conceive.

Let me leave you with this…
Have you assessed the risk and ways that social media can negatively impact your organization, and what measures have you taken to protect yourself against them, and use them to your organization’s full advantage?

Melissa Agnes is a social media crisis specialist who blogs daily about protecting your business from social media attacks. She is also the creator of the Social Media Crisis Academy, an all-inclusive online training program that takes businesses from A-Z in developing their social media crisis plan.

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