Ignoring a brand crisis can REALLY cost you – as United Airlines found out. Their refusal to take responsibility resulted in musicians writing and performing multiple songs and a loss of an estimated $180 MILLION!
Some PR agents think of PR from one campaign to the next, but this is the wrong approach for the social media era. Your brand is constantly changing as people talk about it on social media and this is often where crises originate.
PR disasters are just as often the result of a slow accumulation of dissatisfaction that boils over as they are the result of sudden, unexpected catastrophes.
Social media monitoring tools are as much PR tools as marketing research tools, if not more. As a marketing research tool, it can be used indirectly to gauge what customers think – but as a PR tool it can be used directly to know what people think about you.
Prevent PR Disasters with Brand Monitoring
Social media monitoring tools constantly monitor your brand so that you can predict disasters before they occur and act accordingly. This goes beyond ordinary sentiment analysis and also involves keeping track of how much people talk about you and where you are being talked about.
You can also measure how big the disasters are by seeing how much people are talking about the disaster and how fast it spread (and whether it is STILL spreading).You need to know WHERE people are talking about your brand disaster to know how big your problem is. Click To Tweet
Usually, a Facebook disaster with lots of negative mentions is much worse than the same Twitter disaster with the same amount of negative mentions because Facebook is more engaging than Twitter.
Many Brands Wait ‘Till Crises Happen – and Then Panic
Far too often, brands will wait till something bad happens to them before they start to use social media monitoring tools. They will use the tools to see how the disaster spreads across social media and then try to analyze the disaster.
They often were not paying attention to what was happening before the disaster so they do not have the context with which to analyze the disaster quickly.
Enterprise-level tools allow people to look at what people have been saying in social media before you start observing it but these tools are not accessible to many companies.
But Most Crises Don’t “Just Happen”
Monitoring what people say about your brand on social media lets you know whether one of those “bubbling over” PR disasters might happen. If you see a lot of complaints about a particular feature in a product, for example, you can change that feature before rolling out the next version of that product.
Sometimes “bubbling over” disasters happen then – and can spoil a product launch.
People were expecting the new product to be an improvement on the old one and they focus on the feature that they didn’t like and do not see the new product as an improvement over the old one.
Use SMM to Stop Crises BEFORE They Happen
Stop crises before they happen by knowing what your audience wants – whether they are your customers, target demographics, or the readers of your blog. SMM can help you do this by allowing you to notice patterns and trends that could be indicative of a coming disaster.
Maybe negative mentions are an increasingly larger portion of your overall mentions and have been for the past week.
PROTECT YOUR BRAND!
Want to dive deeper into the world of social media for business? This post was written by Murray Newlands, author of the white paper Learn Social Media Monitoring in Fifteen Minutes.
FREE white paper >> Download here by clicking this link now.