The Social Media Crisis Brand Response by Radian6


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The Social Media Crisis Brand Response by Radian6

  1. 1. COMMUNITY EBOOK / AUGUST 2012 / / 1 888 6radian All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for BrandsCopyright © 2012 - Salesforce Radian6 Leslie Poston Brand Journalist, Salesforce Radian6
  2. 2. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Introduction Chapter 1: Rally the Troops chapter 2: Catch the Crisis chapter 3: Proactive First Response chapter 4: Follow Up And Follow Through conclusionwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [2]
  3. 3. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands What the Icons In Radian6 Ebooks Mean: Quick, handy information designed to on-ramp you quickly Extra, relevant information that deserved to be called out for more attention Software, website or other tool that will help you get a job done well A story about a brand illustrating a concept in the book Helpful hints to keep you from making a mistake online Relevant stats to support the facts and best practices outlined in the book Where to find other resources and further information about this topicwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [3]
  4. 4. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Introduction It’s the moment forward-thinking brands worry about: that moment when you are faced with your first online brand crisis. As a business owner, you cringed as you watched the Twitter backlash against Motrin’s ad about motherhood, or the online controversy over NBC’s Olympics coverage, and applauded Burger King for its swift action on the viral photo of the employee standing in food bins. What can you learn from their mistakes and successes? There are many things you can do to set yourself up for success in a time of brand crisis online. Learn to monitor insights and brand sentiment in real time. Create a clear action plan. Designate responsibility to members of your team in advance. Go through your response drill once a quarter to keep it fresh. Have the skeleton of a response to any crisis prepared in advance. By creating and sticking to a crisis management plan, you will be ahead of the game and ready to handle any brand crisis the moment it hits. A crisis doesn’t have to be a surprise. This ebook is designed to help you create an all-star social media crisis response plan for your brand. Blueprint to All-Star Social Media Crisis Managementwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [4]
  5. 5. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Chapter 1 / Rally the Troops Having people, processes and plans in place to handle your potential social media crisis is a crucial first step. Being prepared in advance and reducing the element of surprise helps you pivot and handle any crisis with agility and grace. For a large brand, timely responses can make or break how a crisis unfolds. Preparation will make sure your brand doesn’t miss a beat. Begin with an organizational chart that documents how information should flow through the company and out to the public. Each person on the chart should have both their responsibilities and their capabilities clearly outlined, with clearly-listed contact information and a substitute responder in case of vacation or absence. The chart should direct the first crisis responder to the appropriate person according to the nature of the crisis itself. Download this Radian6 sample organizational chart for crisis management Before the chart kicks in, your business needs to get the staff together and agree on what would constitute a brand crisis in social media. Including all departments in the process makes your response better and more fluid when the crisis actually hits — everyone will be on the same page. It also makes sure that you don’t miss anything that could develop into a crisis. Because customers use social media networks how they want to, and not how brands want them to, a potential crisis could touch on any department, even accounting or human resources. This should be an all-hands-on-deck crisis response plan. After brainstorming possible points of crisis for each department, assess the abilities of each staff member and assign their duties accordingly. Are they fantastic at metrics and analytics? Video? Twitter and Facebook? LinkedIn? Blogging? Email marketing? Do they have a golden rolodex of excellent public-relations contacts you can tap if the crisis spills past your defenses? Make sure all of these abilities are listed so your social media crisis management team is seeded with your rock star social media performers from every department. ross training your response team over time will increase the strength, speed and agility C of your brand crisis management action plan, and close any gaps that might occur from vacations or staff changes.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [5]
  6. 6. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Assess your social networks as well. Make sure you are already operating at full disclosure and transparency as appropriate for your industry. Are you disclosing the staff manning each account and using their initials in updates and posts so people can identify with the brand representative they are talking to? Do your inactive outpost networks direct people to your active networks and your site or blog? Have you made sure your company profiles are not only branded, but also accurately reflect which networks you are active on, and when, to set expectations? For example, you may notice that the Radian6 Twitter account, @radian6, clearly discloses staff affiliations, provides staff photos in the Twitter background, and clearly states availability in the bio in addition to clearly signing on and off each day. If your assessment reveals weak links in your staff abilities or shows holes in your online brand representation and transparency issues, take the time to train your team, set social media guidelines, and clean up your social networks. Weekly and monthly housekeeping checks on staff training and social network branding and information will go a long way to preventing a crisis from escalating. Read our ebooks The Building Blocks of a Sound Social Media Policy and Training Your Company for Social Media. Having these things in place is a great start, but you can do more. Other crisis management tools include templates for possible responses required. One such template that is often used for larger brands is the “dark website”. This is simply an unpublished website held in reserve for quick modification and upload in a time of crisis. It should be boilerplate thatwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [6]
  7. 7. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands has room to be customized at the last minute to address what the crisis actually is. The customization should reflect not only the brand, but also the social networks where the crisis is taking place. The most famous of all dark websites: After Steve Jobs died, Apple honored its legendary founder and CEO with a full-screen tribute on the homepage. Don’t stop at having a crisis management website template at the ready for a rainy day; get other content ready and in reserve as well. Have scripts you can modify and expand for videos, podcasts, blog posts, tweets and more. Social media moves fast — it’s better to have content to address the crisis that you can modify rather than having to spend extra time reinventing the wheel. Just don’t forget to modify it! Sending out boilerplate content on accident can make a crisis worse. Include content revision in the practice drills with your team. Reply and respond to the crisis first where the crisis began! If the crisis erupts on YouTube, the first response should be from your video guru from the department most closely tied to the crisis subject, not a Facebook post. Yes, all social networks will get involved over time, but do appropriate triage at the start.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [7]
  8. 8. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Chapter 2 / Catch the Crisis Part of the crisis management challenge is ensuring that you are aware of any crisis from the moment it develops. By using reports and monitoring via tools like Radian6 and Google Analytics together you will help your brand catch and address any rumblings early on. It’s also important to know what topics to monitor to make sure you are getting a complete picture of your brand online. Using two tools - such as Radian6 and Google Analytics - makes sure you have your brand bases covered no matter where someone mentions you. Radian6 is one of several fantastic tools for social and topic mentions and Google Analytics is a powerhouse analytics program for monitoring sentiment and mentions related to your site and ads. Use their custom reporting and listening features to practice deep listening. When setting up your crisis awareness reports, use your initial assessment of potential crises for each department as your first reference point. Collect the keywords and keyphrases from each of the potential crises listed and use those to set up topics, goals and campaigns that are designed to alert you to a crisis when it breaks and to monitor its level of severity as you go. Do a weekly or monthly assessment of the data you get from these reports and adjust the keywords and other information over time according to what data you are able to gather. Make sure you have set these reports to be delivered to your email inbox so you don’t miss a beat. No one is in crisis mode as often as the American Red Cross, which responds to 70,000 Disasters a year. Their Digital Operations Center, powered by Dell and Radian6, is the central location for all of their disaster relief efforts, allowing them to respond in real time, assisting citizens in their time of need and helping them better direct their resources. Watch the videowww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [8]
  9. 9. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands When monitoring from the viewpoint of crisis management, it’s important to consider sentiment analysis. The tools for sentiment analysis are getting stronger every day, but as a field in its infancy, it’s key to your success to keep a human eye involved in sentiment analysis as a back up. As part of your bi-weekly routine, in addition to your automated sentiment reports, do some hand-culling of the data and make a human analysis to make sure the algorithm didn’t miss anything (positive or negative). Don’t jump on a trending topic without checking out why it is trending! If the brand is trending because of a tragedy, you will need to approach your crisis solution with great sensitivity. If it’s trending because of satire or parody, you will need to approach it with humor. To jump in with your defensive mode turned on may lead to greater issues. Be aware! As data rolls in on a developing crisis, it’s important to quickly get the crisis management team response in action. The goal is to resolve the crisis with care, leaving a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth of all who come in contact with the brand during the crisis, and resolve the crisis as quickly and sensitively as possible. At the first sign of trouble, go to the source as reflected in your report and seek the context of the crisis. Look for clues that tell you how and where it started, which topic influencers are causing the news to spread or to go viral, which social networks the crisis is occurring on first, and which department is most directly affected. Take a moment to assess the general brand sentiment at the start of the crisis to help direct the tone of your approach. Pull out your crisis management org chart and get in touch with the brand representative that is most appropriate based on department and expertise. Be sure to loop your CEO, IT department and marketing team in as soon as possible so that they can get started making modifications to your reserve content, making sure your servers stay up in heavy traffic, or in some cases, responding immediately (some crises really need a C-level response from the outset). Make sure the person responding on each social network is gently directing people to the website and other content made especially for addressing the crisis, and directing people to email and phone support where appropriate as well. A crisis may need C-level intervention or response if it involves legal issues or violations, employee misconduct, fraud or similar. In these cases, the first response should come from the top. An example would be the Dominos Pizza YouTube scandal, which involved health violations and employee misconduct. Why direct people to an offline communication method like email? Well, you want to show that your brand is responding, but the actual resolution should be taking place outside ofwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [9]
  10. 10. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands social channels. You may have to resolve the crisis according to individual circumstance, or you may have to offer something you would not generally offer the public to resolve the situation. It may also be a legal or regulatory issue. If you have to create a special resolution, having it offline not only keeps a record of it, it prevents people from seeing the resolution and expecting the same offer in the future. (Most people online are completely on the up and up, but some people will cause a problem just get a specific resolution). Using a Radian6 Topic Trend Report or Sentiment Report for a PR Crisis: Radian6 TV By getting your org chart and crisis response in action early, you will solve your crisis faster and get back on track for your brand before the issue has a chance to go viral. Download the Crisis Responder Directory template and customize it in Excel for your own use.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 10 ]
  11. 11. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Chapter 3 / Proactive First Response You may be noticing a trend in these recommendations toward a proactive first response. That’s the best way to get a jump on the issue and control, corral and calm the situation. Let’s look at some examples of using metrics and analytics to nip a crisis in the bud, then using your action plan to see the crisis through to a positive resolution. American Airlines For a company that relies heavily on trust, a bankruptcy filing can produce a devastating brand crisis if not handled correctly. American Airlines used an effective, if limited, Twitter strategy to attempt to handle the bankruptcy as it erupted in the news (though they weren’t as prepared for the debacle of Alec Baldwin’s huge Twitter following and his thwarted attempt to play the popular game Words With Friends). Interestingly, the American Airlines social media strategy seems to fade after Twitter and their one-sided bankruptcy and merger website section. Blogs have been alight with opinion and speculation on their merger rumors, as have forums and other social media outlets, but the airline seems to be missing chances to engage and turn the tide of public opinion online. The airline could still stem the tide of negative sentiment through blogging and increased engagement across the organization driven by their metrics. This is a bold illustration of why having a social media plan in place that keeps the lines of communication open across the organization is important for crisis management. American Airlines needs the kind of personal touch and involvement that could reassure their customers outside of their liveliest channel, Twitter. It’s great to see a vibrant channel for customer service, but to have so many opportunities to engage around a crisis topic missed on other channels seems a shame. A great monitoring procedure and plan would alleviate that problem. FedEx When a video of an employee carelessly tossing a package hit the internet, FedEx was faced with an example of a C-level crisis response requirement. It was obvious with the speed of the response that FedEx had good monitoring tools in place and had mastered listening for mentions of and sentiment around their brand online.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 11 ]
  12. 12. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands FedEx VP Matthew Thornton, III, responded to the crisis promptly and with obvious outrage. His plain-spoken statement has been viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube. The swift video response was not only on the appropriate channel with an appropriate tone of humility coupled with swift action, it was delivered by the Senior VP of Operations. By quickly detailing how they had reached out to the customer and taken proactive action regarding the employee’s carelessness, FedEx diverted a potential crisis into a rain of organic, customer-driven PR praising their crisis management skills and human business touch. You want your crisis management plan to be that effective.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 12 ]
  13. 13. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Chapter 4 / Follow Up And Follow Through It’s key to look to the future when responding to your brand’s social media crisis. Plan ahead for follow up and follow through. Be the brand that cares enough about the people and customers caught up in the crisis to check back in with them down the road and make sure the resolution you reached continues to work. Plan for follow-up content and contact to keep the issue from reappearing. Institute analytics that continue to track the crisis and that alert you to repeat visitors to your site so you can apply techniques usually used in re-marketing to continuing to ensure the crisis is resolved. Include your follow-up content in your engagement calendar as a natural part of your content marketing strategy. Allow it to taper off in accordance with the monitoring reports. As you find the crisis dwindling, throttle back on the content maintenance plan and engagement plan. At some point you will find that your crisis has gone down in status from “emergency” to “maintenance” and so on until it becomes a simple “case study” that you can use in your marketing efforts to showcase the responsiveness, care and authenticity of your brand. Engagement should be handled a little bit differently than content. It should be part of your follow up plan, but more personal. Keep the main players in the crisis in your tickle file so you don’t forget to check in with them on a regular basis after the crisis has started to subside. This personal engagement will taper off as well, but the important fact here is that the people affected by your brand crisis leave their interactions with you with a feeling of confidence that you took excellent care of them, whether or not you were able to resolve the crisis in the manner they were expecting. Set up a monitoring dashboard for keywords, customer names and user names that will help you follow up after the crisis is resolved. Having that report will help prevent the problem from recurring.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 13 ]
  14. 14. Community Ebook / August 2012 All-Star Social Media Crisis Response for Brands Conclusion It’s clear from real-world examples like FedEx’s mishandled package and perfectly handled crisis response that a crisis management plan isn’t just a nice idea - it’s essential to the health of your brand in this online world. When information flows at the speed of light, you have to be ready to jump at a moment’s notice, with no time wasted on making decisions. By implementing a clear plan, assembling an all-star team at all levels and in all departments of your organization, learning to listen and monitor your brand for crisis signals, readying reserve content, knowing when to seek the help of outside consultants and tools, and sticking to the blueprint you created beginning with your organizational chart your brand will be able to float above the muck and mud of any situation. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter: Read the Blog: 888 6RADIAN 1 888 672-3426 / Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 14 ]