10 Biggest Social Media Crisis-Related Lessons of 2012- What classroom concepts can you relate this to?

10 Dec

10 Biggest Social Media Crisis-Related Lessons of 2012

By Melissa Agnes, Social Media Crisis Manager, Speaker and Consultant

From Internet defamation to social media crises and one’s online reputation management, it seems that every other week a new brand is teaching us all a lesson or two in proper online conduct and social media crisis management.

As I reflect back on 2012, I remember early on in the year when the Altimeter Group released a report stating that 76% of social media crises could have been avoided. As I think back to all of the social media crises and issues that have taken form online over the past 12 months, I can’t help but think that, if that number hasn’t gone up, it surely could not have gone down either! It seems that this year has been filled with social media debacles that have put numerous brands’ reputations at risk.

So how can you protect your brand from falling into that unfortunate 76%? Of course, you can (and should) develop a social media crisis management plan, but that takes a few weeks at best. So, before we journey off into the new year, let’s reflect back upon all the lessons that have been plainly laid out for us, time and time again by different brands facing

different online debacles throughout this past year. If each brand could really learn these lessons, it would be a very big step towards not falling into that unacceptable 76%.

The 10 Biggest Social Media Crisis-Related Lessons of 2012

  1. Real-time is NOT an option, but a must and a highly critical expectation of your audience
  2. In order to respond and react to an online threat in real-time, one must be monitoring the social discussions around one’s brand
  3. Trust, sincerity and compassion go a very long way in a crisis
  4. Ignoring a social media or online issue only makes matters worse
  5. The sooner you respond to an online threat, the more chances you have at coming out of it with zero repercussions to your brand’s reputation or bottom-line
  6. Every employee is a spokesperson for your brand and needs to be trained as such
  7. Having a mentality of “always focusing on building a relationship with your market” will always lead you in the right direction when it comes to your social media crisis communications
  8. Double check that you’re posting from the correct account before pressing “post”
  9. Identify the difference between negative posts and unacceptable posts, and develop a way of dealing with both types of online comments and tweets
  10. A crisis can strike out of thin air, when least expected. That’s why it’s so important for every single company and organization to be prepared with a social media crisis management plan

As I reflect back on the last year of online crises and issues that we’ve all been witnesses to, I can’t help but be reminded of the importance of learning from others’ mistakes – and teaching what we learn to those responsible for interactive on behalf of our brand. So if I can ask one last thing of you before the year comes to a close, it’s please, please, please, at the very least, learn the first 9 lessons above and plan to achieve the 10th, if you haven’t already.


Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


8 responses to “10 Biggest Social Media Crisis-Related Lessons of 2012- What classroom concepts can you relate this to?

  1. traveler012

    December 11, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    A lot of these apply to real life in general, which I thought was kind of cool. It’s all about being connected and being aware. Know what the issue is and be ready to handle it. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean you handle it any different than if it was a face to face issue. It’s comical to think that anyone would not know how to handle this type of crisis and be in this profession. So maybe I should learn them!

  2. joylanadventurer01

    December 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    When I was reading this post I was rather intrigued by the 6th lesson that she suggests we learn. Obviously we have all experienced this at one point or another in our life, but it’s so true.. Every single person that works for a brand, or is employed by some place rather, is definitely a spokesperson. I find it rather funny to listen to the employees talk and bash the company they work for, and not only talk to each other, but blatantly tell the customers. It is rather hilarious to think that a company would be paying someone to degrade the company itself. I too have been guilty of this, for different establishments I work for, but I never say anything to the public, just to my coworkers, but it is rather fun to talk badly about the place you work, just gotta keep your fingers crossed that you wont get caught.

    • safona

      December 16, 2012 at 1:35 am

      Communicating with the mases has its pro’s and con’s. It really isn’t wise to conduct yourself poorly, post it on social media, and then just hope that it won’t come back to haunt you. That is very ‘risky’ behavior. Today, people are so accustomed to treating the WORLD WIDE WEB likes a conversation between long-time friends is crazy to me. I am from a big city and I could see very early on how dangerous it could be to let the entire world know your every move throughout the day. I say that because the world is full of people who could/might cause you, or your family great harm! All becasue you want to talk about running to walmart at 2″30 in the morning or the specific dates your home won’t be occupied because you and your family are away on vacation! We really better start thinking like people are watching us….because they are!

  3. meow484

    December 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Most of the 10 crisis management lesson are common sense, it’s mostly being aware of your surroundings, what you say and how you should react if a crisis does occur. My thoughts went to maybe some brands want the bad publicity, like celebrities. Branding yourself is a very real thing in our society, most celebrities are a brand or connected to a brand. Not all but most of them have some bad reputation that follows along throughout their career, like Chris brown. His dirty picture leak and abuse to Rhianna. Brown is most likely aware of all or most of the 10 lesson and his management should be too. Possibly he did this things to humanize himself with his fans and public for more publicity either good or bad. So maybe the lessons shouldn’t be how to avoid a crisis but how to work the system of the public eye to turn a “mistake” into an opportunity.

  4. tex2524

    December 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I agree with the fact that these lessons or hints are all pretty much common sense. Being aware of your surroundings and being ready to repsond to a crisis or bad situation is crucial when it comes to working for a brand in today’s business world or just in any phase of life in general. The way you react to a hostile situation if handled properly can indeed turn that crisis into something positive for yoursellf, or the brand that you are associated with. This article does a good job of hinting at this. You can learn a great deal from the mistakes that you, yourself make and you can also learn a great deal from the mistakes of others.

  5. baconftwlolz

    December 14, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Ya im gonna go with most of this should just be common sense for any business using social media. If your going to use a social media network to promote your brand then you have to expect to be insulted and even attacked. To be honest I didn’t really find this interesting only because it is just someone giving advice to those companies who are deciding to put their label on a social media network. Thats all well and good but I think a teenager could figure out these rules just as well as the person who wrote this. Perhaps not while being as articulate, but they could, its common knowledgeeeeee.

  6. sony112

    December 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Majority of these apply to everyday life, i’m all for it. connection is key as well as awareness.Issues should be dealt with the same they would face to face.

  7. harajukugirl12

    December 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    A lot of these, maybe even all of them, relate to life in general, not just to social media groups. It is truly amazing how we have made so much progress in such a little amount of time with social media. I remember that I was one of the first people in my group of friends to join Facebook and had tried so hard to convice my other friends to “join the dark side”. None of them would. But then I found them on there like a year later. Social medias like Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and everything like it has grown to crazy amounts in the past couple of years. I think it is truly amazing. It is keeping our world connected.


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