• Social Media has drastically changed the landscape of crisis management. • With close to 23% of the time spent on the internet on social networks and Google providing three-quarters of a billion searchresults a day, the internet is a giant public library where users have the ease of discovering and spreading information around. • A whopping 75% of people using social media are information seekers (Pew Internet study).
So how does this affect companies in a crisis? It means that when information released is not contained and acted upon quickly, it can spiral out of control. This is particularly applicable to negative discussions. A video and article can be viewed by ten of thousands of people within 24 hours. Companies cannot ignore social media’s ability to aggravate a crisis and the need to harness it when managing crises.
So why should you use it? • News stories are breaking online first • People search the internet for news first • If you don’t contribute your input, they will find information, true or not, elsewhere • Allows you to join the conversation, providing help and information, and direct the messages • It’s so massive and so fast In a crisis, the most important thing is speed and there is nothing faster than the internet.
And what should you do? 1. Preparation, preparation, preparation!
And what should you do? WHAT WHO WHEN 2. Develop a social media policy• This covers a far greater potential •Give FACTS. • IMMEDIATELY.network than just the official voice.You can use employees’ social • Keep up strong internal • Buy time. Even if you don’t havenetworks. You want them to alert communications. the answer yet, acknowledging thatthe team as to when they see you’re listening can buy a lot of timeopportunities or crisis issues. • Update the website. and quell angry sentiment.• As with crises in traditional • E.g. On the website: Business as • A balance of frequent updates thatmedia, a key spokesperson needs to usual should be cancelled to purely do not appear irregular.be elected for a short video push out information. Use socialclip/interview to reassure channels to host Q&A and directconsumers however employees them to website where there shouldshould know how to react without be a notice/statement or holdingapproval from your CEO. page.
Example: Toyota “In short, monitoring online sentiment gave us visibility and confidence to act quickly and decisively in the centre of the storm. Eighteen months earlier we would have been blind. We have since invested in our social media strategy, extending its content and reach and providing a lively and engaging forum for questions and debate. Those same channels that helped Scott Brownlee us fight a negative are now General Manager, Press and Public Affairs helping to build on the positives Toyota, UK that come with exciting new products, all for an ROI that is off the scale compared with traditional marketing.”
Example: BP The Crisis On Social Media 20.04.10 - Deepwater Horizon oil • Facebook Page – 41,069 Fans spill crisis started from an explosion in an offshore drilling • YouTube Channel – 6472 rig that killed 11 and injured 17 of subscribers its workers. • Twitter Account – 18,596 19.09.10 – Continuous Leaking followers since April comes to an end. • Flickr Account Full Timeline
Example: BP What they did right •Updating it’s social media platforms What they did not do right • Did not build up a strong base first • Failure to engage • Did not respond to negative comments What we can learn from this •Build up relationships and rapport •Assemble a social media team
Example: Nestle The Crisis • Greenpeace report on palm oil. • Nestle status telling people not to use such logos as profile picture or comments would be deleted. • Fans retaliated with freedom of speech criticisms, met by further rude and sarcastic comments from Nestlé.
Example: Nestle What they could have done/prepared for • A social media presence doesn’t fix your offline problems • People don’t mind if you don’t get it right, but they do mind if you get it wrong • Do not censor • Old media does not understand social crisis management • Do not retaliate • The truth doesn’t matter, perception does • Respond with the same weight Courtesy of Scott Gould
The things to remember... • Don’t abandon your values • Be clear about your limitations • Match what’s been thrown at you • Don’t use one platform, use all and direct them back to the main website • Don’t be afraid to use your common sense • Don’t be afraid to take it off the social sphere • Good crisis communications is not going to solve everything • Consider the barriers. E.g. Time difference and languages It’s all about the first 24 hours!!!