Brand crises can be a make or break moment for your company’s reputation, especially in the era of social media when information spreads faster than ever. Most organizations go through a crisis at some point in their existence—it is how they react to it that matters most in the eyes of the public. A study revealed companies that responded well to a brand crisis saw a 20% increase in shareholder value, while companies that responded poorly saw a 30% decrease. It’s essential that your business has a plan for maintaining your reputation in case of potential crises or mistakes so you’re prepared to see a 20% increase, not the alternative.
As you know, social channels are excellent places to gather market research information and communicate directly with your customers. How can social media help your reputation when you find your business facing a crisis? On social media platforms, you have the ability to monitor the conversation, create content that targets specific issues and audiences to disseminate information, engage with your customers, and utilize influencer marketing to influence public perception of your brand.
1) Monitor the Conversation on Social Platforms
Closely monitoring mentions of your brand through social listening and data analysis can alert you to an oncoming crisis before it gets out of control. Awareness of information such as your share of mentions within your industry, the average number of incoming comments and mentions you receive in a day, and the average sentiment of these messages is imperative— a change in these numbers will alert you when something outside of the ordinary is happening. If you notice the number of mentions you receive dramatically increasing or the sentiment of your mentions dramatically decreasing, you may have a crisis on your hands.
2) Create Content That Addresses the Issues
Once you’ve identified that you have a crisis, the next step is to look into the causes, the customers affected, and the discussion surrounding this crisis. It can be tempting to try to let it blow over and carry on with your content calendar as usual, but taking control of the public narrative before it gets out of hand is a much safer option. Monitoring the keywords and phrases that are frequently mentioned alongside your brand can show you the topic and severity of the crisis. This knowledge will allow you to craft your messaging to speak directly to your customers’ needs and concerns.
3) Engage with your Audience
After you’ve created general public messaging that acknowledges the issue at hand and combats misinformation, the next step is to communicate with your customers who have reached out specifically. A response shows them that you’re listening and you value their opinion. You can use this opportunity to apologize, tell the customer what you are doing to correct the issue (either by explaining or sending a link to a longer post or landing page regarding the issue,) or request that they reach out via private message so you can offer them a discount if possible or appropriate. In times where you are receiving an increased volume of comments and messages on social media, internal communication and organization is especially important. Your team needs an organized inbox and a clear idea of who is assigned to which messages, so all customers feel heard.
Family-owned farm Christopher Ranch learned the hard way just how quickly misinformation that catches the public eye can damage a reputation. A docuseries falsely portrayed their practices as unethical and the public conversation around the brand turned negative. The agriculture industry is relatively new to the social media sphere, and they needed help reversing the damage. By actively listening with Nuvi, Christopher Ranch was able to closely watch the conversation, reach out to their skeptics, provide them with more information, and turn them into brand advocates. Christopher Ranch saw the positive conversational sentiment around their brand overcome the negative as they repaired their reputation. Crisis averted!
4) Identify and Utilize Influencers
Now that you’ve responded to the crisis and your customers, how do you move on and win back public opinion? Influencer marketing is an effective way to elevate your brand reputation and gain trust. Finding the right influencer is key—you’ll need someone who is trusted and respected among your target demographic. Influencers can provide reassurance to your customers that you’ve resolved the issue and that your product is sound. Ideally, you’ll want an influencer with high reach, spread, and engagement on social media to get accurate information about your company in front of as many potential customers as possible.
Need help monitoring the conversation, publishing information, engaging with your customers, or choosing influencers? Nuvi has solutions to help you keep your reputation intact. Set up a demo and we’ll show you all the tools we can offer to help your business thrive.