Developing Your Social Media Crisis Radar, Part 2

Did you catch the first installment of this series? If not, start your Crisis Radar journey with Part One.

Who is the average user on your brand’s social? What is their most common age? Times of peak social media use? Favorite memes? Dimple size? Chances are, you have answers to these questions. Some of them, anyway. Biometric data has yet to reveal quite THAT much facial data to the common social media crisis pro. The point is, you know your audience very well. You know what gets a reaction out of them. This includes extremely negative reactions which, in large numbers, can injure a brand’s reputation. Through your data-driven intuition, you can sketch out these crises beforehand and prepare.

In part one of “Developing your Social Media Crisis Radar,” we covered the difference between negative chatter and early crisis. In the second installment of our blog series, we will explore the “how” of sketching out crisis scenarios. You will learn to model a possible disaster and determine what it will look like in the early stages. The ability to identify red flags in the content of negative mentions is a foundation of Crisis Radar.  If you’ve been doing your part to create a complete and data-driven social media strategy, this should be easy. You already understand what has gotten them to engage and react before.

Go back into your data and see what has generated negative mentions in the past. Pay especially close attention to any crisis that has already happened. Don’t just pay attention to crisis that has impacted your brand, scope out the past crises of your competitors too. The factors that caused any of these past crises are often able to create risk of another disaster. Any long-standing issue, such as unethical labor practices, can continue to produce upset.

You can even drill down and understand the crisis potential for each segment of your audience. Just divide the data and analyze accordingly. You can segment by gender, age, geographic location, etc. Most native analytics platforms offer some capacity to segment your data.

Recognize the themes in the sentiment of very negative posts from the past. Ask yourself, “What were the issues causing the most upsets?” Use this as you brainstorm a list of scenarios that could result in a fiery social media crisis blowup. As you imagine each scenario, picture what red flags could appear on social media before the conversation explodes.

Let’s try an example:

Imagine you are the community manager for a health food brand. Your company produces wholesale products and has a few brick and mortar locations as well. Your most loyal fans perceive your food products to be produced with their health in mind, which to them means organic farming methods and unprocessed foods.

As a group, they have an abnormally high interest in ethical food production. They prize the feeling of eating food that they perceive to be “the best” for their body and makes them feel like they are doing good in the world. Let’s dream up ways your brand could accidentally piss them off, shall we?

Social Media Crisis Scenario

Social Media Crisis Food Safety

Social Media Crisis Animal Cruelty

Social Media Crisis Unequal Service

Social Media Crisis Hidden Ingredients

Identifying pre-crisis posts is easy when you map out possible scenarios beforehand. This way, you can recognize any red flags immediately. You’ll then be well on your way to the most effective crisis intervention possible: early intervention.

Are you ready to build the third and final foundation of your crisis radar? Our third and final blog in the series will help you get your Crisis Radar up and running. We’ll show you how to examine the cusp of crisis graphically. Join us for “Developing your Social Media Crisis Radar, Part 3” for the data analysis fun!

Savannah Whitman


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