The Ultimate Guide to Manage (or Prevent) a Crisis Through Social Intelligence

Customer-Centricity Tutorials
Eleonora Verdinelli
April 11, 2022
A harried person that represents in the middle of a social media crisis.

“Your brand quotes on social media are emails for you, with the whole world in cc.”

Have you already experienced a crisis in your company? Are you looking for preventative methods? Whether you are new to the concept or experienced, there is always a better way to deal with negative situations. You want to find a preventative method or a practical solution so that you don’t ever have to manage a crisis or if you are already in it, you can come out the other end as a winner with minimum loss.

Reputation is the public idea people have about your company or your brand. Today, more people than ever post their positive and negative feedback publicly on their social media accounts. When a consumer posts about their negative opinion of your brand, not only are they letting you know of your shortfalls but they’re also letting the entire world know. And considering 82% of consumers specifically seek negative reviews or posts about brands, you can be sure they will find that nasty tweet or post.

The flow of these crises can sometimes take on vital, and out-of-control dimensions, that’s why this article is here to show you how to manage (or prevent) a crisis through social intelligence!

A company crisis is “an unpredictable event that provokes damage to the company” and might damage image, reputation, or sales. Here, you see some company crisis examples:

  • Extraordinary facts
  • Unpredictability
  • Virality: the faster the news spreads, the greater is the damage
  • Pervasiveness: today, everyone can talk about everything
  • Authoritativeness of the sources involved
  • Damage: drop in sales, damage to the image or reputation

You need to have a strategic management plan even if a social crisis seems far from your company: it’s in normal situations that you can really understand what to do in case this problem occurs.

For those of you who don’t have in mind what social intelligence means, I’m going to give you a definition so as to understand how it can be helpful.

Social Listening vs. Social Intelligence

By using social listening tools, you can identify and collect information shared on social networks which are then analyzed for the purpose of obtaining information and making strategic decisions. In other words, you can listen to your customers and what they are talking about to understand what they think on the company and the products.

Social intelligence takes you beyond tracking mentions and conversations. The strategic use of social, behavioral, and emotional signals present in social data to gain helpful insights for your next action or creative idea. Social intelligence can contextualize the data provided.

For a deeper understanding of the differences between social listening and social intelligence click here.

4 Steps of Crisis Management

In order to manage (or prevent) a crisis there are 4 steps to follow:

  1. Control conversations through social intelligence
  2. Analyze
  3. Decide and manage the situation
  4. Measure damage

1. Control Conversations Through Social Intelligence

The most fundamental action is listening to and monitoring conversations on different social networks using social intelligence tools. With the Al-Engine technology you can easily supervise what customers are saying about your company and where the crisis is headed. A social intelligence tool can prevent you from wasting time making analyses and trying to collect data. You may be distracted or may not be aware of how precious timing is during urgent situations, that’s why using an automatized AI-boosted tool gives you an advantage when trying to get an overview of what is happening by speeding up the data gathering and analysis process.

Leveraging the contextualized data this powerful technology can provide, you can get useful specific insights regarding:

  • Sentiment analysis to see how negatively a topic is being talked about
  • Volumetric trends of topics to see how fast or wide the crisis is spreading a.k.a virality
  • Speech pattern analysis to see what other words are most associated with the crisis
  • Analysis of competitors during the crisis to see who else is being affected in what ways

Results on how conversations are spreading through different platforms

2. Analyze

In case a situation can be delineated as a corporate crisis, you need to measure the dimension of the crisis by social media management. So, verifying social media actions across every single channel of the company will help you. In this step, it’s also crucial to continue tracking the changes taking place during the crisis relative to:

  • Topic, persons, products, or services mentioned
  • Possible cross-media diffusion: social networks involved
  • Degree of the engagement generated
  • Conversation volume
  • Terms and tone of voice used
  • Sentiment

3. Decide and Manage the Situation

The company that promptly manages the event can turn the error into opportunity. Social intelligence tools enable you to:

  • Act quickly: Save money, time, and energy. In just a few hours you need to have your complete and specific insights so that you become a proactive company facing crisis
  • Go straight to the problem by seeing the big picture during the crisis
  • Make effective decisions: Block out the noisy data so you can only consider relevant information to make effective decisions
  • Answer instantly to negative comments on certain platforms

Give you more specific insights: You need to not only grasp the big picture but also be able to zoom into details to understand the dynamics of the situation including how different agents (customers, competitors, other brands or public excluding your customers) are acting during the crisis.

4. Measure Damage

When the crucial phase of the crisis has overcome, you need to move on to the measurement of what has been the impact and its consequences in the medium-long term. Social intelligence can help you follow-up results based on how the crisis has been overtaken on different social media accounts. In particular, by monitoring and contextualizing data and conversations it gives you final insights of:

  • How the crisis impacted the company’s image
  • How the sentiment changed during and after the crisis
  • How many negative topics are associated with the company
  • How social network accounts changed after the crisis

Why It’s Important To Act Proactively

Having a plan to follow during these critical situations enables you to contain the crisis before it becomes uncontrollable. Leveraging the possibilities Al-Powered Technology offers, your company can answer to requests actively and manage the crisis in shorter time. Companies that find a way out quickly from a negative situation can create a stronger bond with their customers. The customers will, at the same time, become more invested in your company after successful crisis management because now they perceive you to be trustworthy. In fact, if you were effectively answering complaints and were able to turn the situation around quickly, you could get a 40% increase in sales: by being honest and by making it clear if and where you were wrong, consumers will create a more personal and emotional relationship with the brand by becoming your acquired Brand Ambassadors.

Learn From Your Mistakes

If you want to make the viability of your company a priority, you should learn from your mistakes. A crisis management plan is fundamental. Research suggest that businesses are at risk of losing 22% of their business when potential customer find just one negative article on the first page of their search results.

By taking all the necessary precautions you will ensure that a nasty crisis can no longer get you unprepared. Social intelligence can be your partner by helping you in every step of a crisis management. Understanding the problem and acting straight to find out a solution can contain your losses and the negative image and reputation. Mistakes and negative situations can happen within every company, it’s the way in which you choose to manage them that makes all the difference.    Start the free trial or book a demo to catch all the benefits Al-Powered Technology has to offer for every single aspect of your business.

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