Facing a marketing crisis?
When does a problem escalate to a crisis? This is a very subtle, but extremely important question and often highlights an individual organization’s inability to monitor its reputation online. Whenever a company engages in social media marketing it must ensure that it looks for a reaction and a response and puts as much effort into that as it does into creating the marketing message in the first place. Yet it’s amazing how many organizations do not put the effort to watch and listen, as they did in the creation of the message in the first place.
There have been some highly publicized social media marketing disasters in recent times. We should clarify that; the disaster may not have developed in social media marketing circles but the consequences went viral, online and significantly intensified the issue.
Although an organization may effectively operate during conventional business hours, social media runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just because the office or the production line is closed and nobody is answering the switchboard, it does not mean that people are not talking about the organization “after hours.” In the social media enabled world of today, this means that the tap is always running and there is always power to the marketing engine. This could be both a good thing and a bad thing.
Every company must have a crisis management policy. This means it needs to know what kind of response it is getting and in relation to what issue. Although it is not possible to predict these disasters, we would do our best to make sure they don’t happen. However, there is no excuse for not realizing there is a problem and then putting in place steps to mitigate it.
Any social media marketing campaign must be accompanied by a plan to monitor and determine the results. Your virtual assistant can set up and handle both. Your virtual assistant fully understands how important it is to have access to this level of monitoring around the clock. This is not to suggest that your virtual assistant will be surfing the Internet at 3 AM on a Sunday morning to try and find out what level of reaction you are getting to a certain initiative, but it does mean that the virtual assistant is very well aware of – and uses – systems, software and methods to make sure that nothing comes as a surprise.
Whenever a crisis materializes, action must be taken. If no response is given, the situation worsens and can definitely cause a problem to snowball into a crisis. Social media marketing is a very powerful, but still relatively new means of communication. As we have said, we may have many more opportunities for marketing outside of conventional channels, but we need to be sure that we are keeping on top of developments and any “buzz” that is relevant to our organization, as well.