As consumer feedback has shifted to online formats, brands face several avenues of potential crisis. From reviews or tweets about a product, to a mismanaged social media marketing campaign, there is no shortage of opportunities for negative online attention, and that attention always has the potential of going viral. The brands that are best able to handle these crises are those that utilize social monitoring and social listening tools to actively develop their crisis management strategies. Using these powerful tools, brands can analyze the effectiveness of their crisis management approach in a particular case and use this information to inform their approach in the future.
The Role of Social Monitoring in Crisis Management
Social monitoring has become an essential practice both for identifying potential crisis points and assessing the effectiveness of a brand’s interventions to address a crisis. Social monitoring involves actively looking for a specific type of content. This distinguishes it from social listening, which aims for identifying previously unnoticed big-picture trends rather than targeting specific data points.
In the case of crisis management, social monitoring is used to actively search for potential negative content linked to a brand or product. This could include social media posts on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, as well as negative reviews on platforms such as Reddit, Google Reviews, or Yelp.
But how can a brand search through the mass of content available on these platforms to identify comments or reviews that could potentially lead to a crisis? There is simply too much content to manually assess, so companies rely on sophisticated artificial intelligence. AI-based social listening tools are built to recognize brand-related posts and analyze those posts to identify the emotions and opinions that underlie them. This technology is referred to as sentiment analysis, and it uses advanced AI techniques such as natural language processing (NLP) and image analysis to identify emotional content.
Companies use sentiment analysis to sift through their mentions and reviews on social media platforms and connect with consumers who might be dissatisfied. However, if a brand is unable to connect in time, a negative review or comment could go viral and draw negative attention on the platform where it was posted.
In this case, brands must implement crisis management strategies that effectively add their voice to the online conversation. The goal is to openly address consumer concerns and mitigate the crisis as quickly as possible. This process continues to involve social monitoring, as companies must now track how consumers are responding to specific interventions such as the company’s direct replies to specific consumers or its public apology posts.
Learning From the Crisis Management Process
The best crisis management strategies are agile and grounded in an ongoing effort to understand how consumers are responding. The key is that brands use the data that a tool like sentiment analysis provides to both actively adjust ongoing interventions and proactively plan responses for potential future crises.
For example, NetBase Quid AI users can use sentiment analysis to identify whether sentiment is negative or positive, but they can also access a numerical rating of how strong the negative or positive sentiment is. Companies can analyze which of their crisis management efforts are having the most impact on shifting these ratings. They can also assess whether ratings tend to be more positive or negative on different platforms and target their interventions accordingly.
This approach is helpful not just in ongoing crisis management efforts, but also in building a more effective long-term approach to crisis management. Recognizing which social media platforms tend to generate posts with a higher potential for causing a crisis should lead a company to direct more extensive social monitoring efforts towards that platform, and to establish a more responsive presence on the platform for their brand.
Remaining Active and Proactive
The takeaway is that the best crisis management strategies both actively adjust based on incoming data and proactively build long-term approaches based on which adjustments work best. Using social monitoring and social listening tools, companies can maintain an online presence built to effectively prevent potential crises and manage any crises that arise.