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As our Social Media Reporting Series has illustrated, social analytics are only half the battle. Compiling insights and sharing them with higher-ups matters too – and it’s never more important than when a crisis is afoot.

Here’s how to use Crisis Management Reporting to avoid the worst of what social has to offer – or to minimize damage if the worst comes to pass.

Expect and Prepare for the Inevitable

The best of brands can find themselves in hot water – that’s the nature of social media, and the power of consumers en masse.

Therefore, it’s not a question of if you’ll experience a brand crisis – it’s a matter of when. So all brands should have a plan in place for dealing with a brand crisis. Even better, brands should be doing all they can to prevent one, and that’s where Crisis Management Reporting, and other social monitoring tactics, come into play.

If you don’t already have tools that alert you when certain social events occur, you need to get them. Here are three types of alerts NetBase provides:

Any Mention – These alerts track the “known unknowns,” i.e., brand issues you’re aware of and want to track based on analyses you’ve saved.

Any Metric – These alerts monitor for “surface deviations,” i.e., sudden changes in mentions, impressions, Net Sentiment, etc. over a given time period, based on the threshold you choose.

Triggered Alerts – These alerts tell you when “unexpected conversations” occur – such as a negative response to a television show that your brand sponsors.

With each type of alert, you can choose the parameters you want to track, how quickly you want to be alerted, and who exactly should be informed. That way you can make a timely decision about how to respond. For this reason, accuracy of analytics data is crucial.

Lloyds Banking Group, to name one example, uses such alerts regularly to stay on top of potential risks and monitor developing situations.

But even before you can set such alerts, you need a baseline of brand conversation, issues, and sentiment – otherwise you won’t know what’s normal, and what’s an anomaly indicative of trouble. That’s why regular social listening and social monitoring are important.

And it’s why Crisis/Issue Tracking and Reporting are a brand’s best friend.

The Benefits of Crisis/Issue Tracking

Crisis/Issue Tracking answers several key questions, like how to:

  • Identify “normal” ranges of volume and sentiment to spot changes
  • Receive immediate notification during crisis events
  • Gauge size of issues relative to your brand and compared to previous issues
  • Identify virality and longevity of issues in progress
  • Determine the severity of new issues and whether to preempt, track or dismiss them

Issue Tracking also lets you understand customer conversation around brand issues, including emotions, behaviors, and underlying motivations so you can respond appropriately, on the right channels, with what customers want to hear.

Crisis Tracking was invaluable for the Georgia Aquarium when they had an unexpected animal death on site. By using Crisis Management Reporting, they knew exactly what social consumers needed to hear to understand what had happened and retain faith in the aquarium.

In such situations, it’s also helpful to identify influencers and known detractors, to help mitigate damage, determine whether an issue has been contained, measure the impact and effectiveness of responses, and whether additional action must be taken. This is also available with Crisis Tracking.

These insights can then be shared with stakeholders in real-time, as well as throughout your organization to develop a crisis management plan to have at the ready.

The Components of a Crisis Tracking Report

So what exactly do you communicate to stakeholders, then – and how? First, here’s a look at the Crisis Tracking process, starting with a review of the first three steps, detailed further above.

#1 – Plan

Use your social analytics to identify which issues you want to track – whether related to your brand, competitors, industry, or category. Decide on appropriate actions for crises in each area.

#2 – Benchmark

Identify what constitutes normal ranges for volume, sentiment, and other key metrics surrounding each issue you want to track.

#3 – Monitor and Track

Set alerts to know when important thresholds are exceeded.

Now you’re ready to take things further by creating a Crisis Tracking Report. These next two steps are part of that process:

#4 – Analyze and Respond

This step clarifies the magnitude of social issues. You may not even need to respond in some cases. In others, you may be on the brink of a full-blown crisis. This is the step that tells you what you’re dealing with.

Here are the metrics you want to understand:

  • How big is the overall conversation related to the issue?
  • How big is the issue-related conversation compared to previous issues?
  • What percentage is the issue-related conversation of the overall brand?

You also want to understand some specifics about your audience, like their characteristics, and whether you’re dealing with insiders or consumer conversation. Additionally, you want to know:

  • Who is talking?
  • Where they are talking?
  • How broad is the impact?
  • Who are the influencers and known detractors?
  • What content is being shared around the issue?

Finally, you want to understand how people are talking about the issue, and whether you need to change or improve your messaging:

#5 – Measure and Inform

This final step is where you measure the impact of your actions – using your Crisis Tracking Report for guidance – and evaluate the necessity of updating any alerts or responses to similar events in the future.

Your report then serves as the benchmark for any further tracking of that specific issue or issues.

And just as you have alerts sent automatically when certain events trigger them, you can have scheduled dashboard reports sent as well – for more general reporting over time, or to provide broader analysis for stakeholders.

These live reports are created from real-time data, and presented in a simple, visual, quickly digestible format crafted with busy executives in mind.

That way you never have to be caught off guard – but if you are, you’ll always know exactly what’s happening, and how to get back on track.

Check out our ongoing Social Media Reporting Series to learn more:

Or reach out to get started tracking your brand’s issues today.

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