There comes a point in time where your brand or business will be faced with a crisis, in some way, shape, or form, and this no doubt is the same for all businesses alike. News headlines often revolve around companies dealing with the fallout from a crisis, and it shows how real, and at times inevitable, such problems are – and unfortunately in today’s digital ecosystem, how quickly they can spread.
A common misconception is that crisis only strikes the ‘big guys, but don’t be mistaken, crisis scenarios can happen to small firms too. No matter the size, most companies are often unprepared with no crisis management and response plan in place. My question to you then – is your company prepared and are you proactively listening to what is going on?
At Circus Social, we see Crisis Management as a crucial business activity to take charge of before matters spiral out of control – as discussed in a segment of our recent Webinar.
To elaborate, here are 3 fundamental steps to constructing & executing a crisis management plan.
REAL-TIME MONITORING – Know it when it happens
Not all problems can be anticipated, but early warning signals are normally present if you are listening to what is happening. Consistently tracking the critical aspects of your business, sentiments around these issues, and sensitive topics related to your brand are important measures to help you identify and tackle impending issues and set benchmarks before they begin to escalate out of hand.
By setting alerts and reports for triggers such as a spike in negative sentiment, impact, and keywords, your team can keep abreast of growing threats and address emerging issues promptly.
KEY CHANNELS – Target your efforts
To effectively focus your crisis response efforts, it is essential to know what platforms your brand is often discussed on. That is where Share of Voice Metrics can be utilized to understand the breakdown of mentions across your various channels (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, News Publications, etc.
With your key channels clearly outlined, you can focus your resources and efforts more efficiently to where it matters most – whether it’s key media, opinion leaders, and influencers, or blogs and forums on social.
A SPEEDY RESOLUTION – Fix it… FAST
Now that you are aware of the crisis and you know the channels to target, what you are left with is to track how effective your response efforts have been. The easiest way to do so is by analyzing changes in sentiment over time. This will show you how fast your crisis management efforts were in achieving a positive sentiment uptick.
Charting how quickly you can attain a positive sentiment change can also help serve as a useful metric for your intervention efforts and to help evaluate if your current approach needs to be tweaked for a more effective crisis communication strategy.
With this framework as a reference, you can now develop your own crisis management plan and leverage social & digital intelligence tools such as 20/Twenty to empower your team with actionable insights and real-time monitoring, should a crisis ever strike.