Social Media Crises Out Of Control? Infographic And Empirical Studies

Social Media Crises Out Of Control? Infographic And Empirical Studies

By Ralf Skirr.

When it comes to social media for your business, you probably think about networking and attracting leads and customers.

Social media, though, is not only what YOU are doing regarding your business, it’s also what your customers are doing.

  • Would it take you by surprise if a grumpy customer sent out nasty Tweets about your biz and the message would spread?
  • What would you do about it?
  • Do you have a plan for damage control?

Every now and then we hear about social media crises – often an event when customers complain publicly and their complaints are read by thousands or millions via Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs.

Yet, few business owners realize how fast criticism spreads through social media, and how fast customers learned to use social.

Last month Jay Bear held a webinar on social media crises at SocialMediaExaminer’s SocialMediaSuccessSummit2012. He said:

“We don't always believe that crisis will happen in social media, but they absolutely do. I mean, things happen and increasingly, it's out of our control. When every customer is a reporter and things happen in real time, crises can occur that can impact yourbrand in social media.

The best way … to ameliorate and mitigate a social media crisis is to do some pre-crisis planning.”

In this post you’ll see 2 studies that examined how social media crises spread. Jeremiah Owyang’s study covers the years 2001 through 2011; Christian Faller’s study covers 2011 in more detail.

Fallers’s Bachelor Thesis is brand new (April 2012) and builds on Owyang’s previous findings. Faller examined 30 social media crises that happened in 2011 and answers questions as:

  1. In which channels did the crises start?
  2. What were the triggers of the crises?
  3. What were the causes of the crises?
  4. What are the recommended action points for businesses?

There’s no telling what impact crisis will have on your business when you face it unprepared. You’ll probably sit on the sidelines watching as the disaster unfolds.

Use the info in this post to get a general idea about the problem, and start collecting ideas for your own pre-crisis planning.

The Epicenters of Social Media Crises

You can download Christian Faller's new study 'The Epicenters of Social Media Crises' here:

Epicenters of Social Media Crises, Study by Christian Faller

Download PDF The Epicenters of Social Media Crises

Here's an infographic with some of the findings.

Infograhpic Social Media Crises

Christian Faller references Owyang's study quite often. That's why I've included it here:

Social Readiness: How Advanced Companies Prepare

Here's Jeremiah Owyang's Slideshare presentation 'Social Readiness: How Advanced Companies Prepare.' Social media crises on the rise – yet most companies are ill-prepared.

See pages 16 – 18 for charts on social media crises.

The two studies above analyzed crises that were covered and documented by mainstream media, usually related to large corporations.

What do you think?

Are social media crises limited to big business, or can they damage a small business just as hard?

Do you have a pre-crisis plan?

What are good steps to take before a social media crisis gets out of control?

Let me know in the comments.


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