Social Media Preparedness

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    Still not ready??

    While social media continues to grow and users welcome it into most every aspect of modern life, few businesses are truly prepared to launch a social media crisis management campaign. Check out these telling figures, from a recent SmartBlog on Social Media survey:

    If a social media public relations crisis were to hit your brand tomorrow, do you think you would be prepared to respond effectively? The results:

    • We have the capacity to respond, but there’s no formal plan in place: 63.81%
    • We wouldn’t know it was happening until we read about it in the media: 15.24%
    • Yes, we have a well-documented social media crisis-control strategy: 15.24%
    • We’re monitoring social channels but lack the capacity for a response: 5.71%

    It was shocking to see only 15.24% reporting a well-documented social media strategy, especially given the fact that this poll was directed towards those that use social media for business, as well as the monumental amount of coverage received by both positive and negative social media situations over the past year. Of those 63.81% that claim the “capacity to respond, but there’s no formal plan in place,” it would be a solid bet that the majority of those have absolutely nothing except a dead Twitter stream and a sporadically updated Facebook.

    A 2011 Burston-Marsteller survey found that 79% of business decision makers believe they are only 12 months from a potential crisis, and a full 43% of those expected the crisis to revolve around social media. We aren’t saying that getting involved with social media isn’t a big step, but we are saying that you’ve GOT to take the plunge, invest the money, and get involved.

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    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
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    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]