Many crises are avoidable, should you have a system for crisis monitoring in place. The more proactive you are, the less likely you are to face one. However, that does not guarantee you’ll make it through the life of your business without an issue. No one is bulletproof. Even the most upright companies can find themselves under fire at times.
Social Media—Taking the Bad with the Good
In fact, while the age of social media has done wonders for business marketing, it has also increased the likelihood for companies to face crises. Current studies show an alarming trend—social media crises are on the rise. It seems to be a sort of catch 22. You don’t want to stay off of social media because it offers many benefits to your company. But you also don’t want to find yourself under fire in an online crisis, right?
Well, first of all, you’ve got to understand this—staying off of social media doesn’t preclude you from experiencing an online crisis. Your company can still become the target in a social media bashing whether you’re present or not. That said, wouldn’t you rather be there and have the opportunity to engage when necessary?
Of course, it isn’t your engagement that’s going to do the most good. Yes, you need to know when it’s time to respond to a crisis, and social media can be an avenue for that. However, it’s not your internal crisis managers who are going to truly reach the online masses in a time of crisis…it’s your brand advocates.
What is a Brand Advocate?
To explain what an advocate is, I’ll begin with what it’s not:
The Advocate’s Role in a Time of Crisis
So what happens when a crisis hits? Well, nowadays you can assume that it’s going to blow up online. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are great places for your worst critics to spread their complaints. And if you’re really unlucky, sites like Reddit will pick up on what’s going on and the whole situation will go viral (yeah, that’s not always a good word in the marketing sense).
However, if you’ve done your job creating brand advocates, then they will do a lot of the firefighting for you. See, your crisis management department isn’t going to be able to put out the social media fire on their own. But your true advocates, without being asked mind you, will come to your defense. They just do—because you have made an impact on their life.
That said, here’s the question you need to consider. What are you doing to create brand advocates?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html