Risk Assessment: Preventing and Preparing for a Social Media Crisis
Getting your team together to do a risk assessment in order to identify potential risk that may present itself to your brand, is one of the first steps in preventing and protecting your brand from a social media crisis. Without understanding the risk involved and the possible crises that may occur, how can you begin to protect your brand from social media attacks?
Within this post you’ll discover the initial guidelines and strategies to help you assess the risk and potential crises that may present themselves within your social media marketing campaigns.
Goals of your social media risk assessment:
- Understand the risk that social media presents to your brand
- Prevent the preventable online crises and issues
- Plan and prepare for the unpreventable risk and crises
Initial steps within your risk assessment
The first 2 steps within your risk assessment is to brainstorm and compose a thorough list of the following:
- Identify all past risk, crises and issues that have evolved from, or presented themselves on your other channels (customer service, phone, email, in person, in the media, etc), identifying how much of these risks and incident could present themselves on social media.
- Identify all potential risk and crises that may arise, taking examples from other companies and brands who have been faced with social media crises – and remember to be creative! No suggestion should be discarded or overlooked.
Once you have these lists formed, the next step is to go through them and do the following:
a) Identify all preventable scenarios
Preventable issues and crises are the first things to determine. Why devise a crisis plan for something that can be prevented in the first place?
b) Devise a social media crisis plan for all unpreventable and unforeseeable crises and risk
Once you’ve determined all preventable risk, go through your lists again, this time citing all potential crises and risks that are beyond your organization’s control.
- Identify the scenarios in which these risks may present themselves
- Identify the red flags that your monitors and crisis teams need to be aware of
- Identify the repercussions and implications that these risks present to your organization
- Develop a strategic response strategy for each type of potential risk and scenario
Who should be involved with your risk assessment?
- Senior executives
- Frontline employees
- Social media marketing execs
- Necessary internal and external stakeholders
The important thing to remember is that each member of your team has had a different experience with your brand, customers and fans. Therefore, each team member has a different perspective and can offer different and valuable suggestions and insight for a complete and thorough assessment of the potential risk that social media and the Internet present to your company or organization. No idea is too big or too small. They’ve all happened to someone, at some point, so each idea should be considered and evaluated.
Has your company or organization undergone a risk assessment?
Call a member of the Agnes + Day’s crisis intelligence team.
Thank you Melissa for another great post. What I do love about ALL of your posts is that they are really "nice and precise"! You always deliver a pragmatic yet smart approach for dealing with Social Media Crisis not excercising "social media rocket science"
I could not agree more with your post on risk assessment! In my opinion a risk assesement process should be the foundation of every social media crisis strategy! And the strategy is key to succesfull crisis prevention and management! As I like to put it, the three most important things when it comes to crisis communications, are:
3. and again Strategy…
Well, of course execution is also important. However, I am convinced that without a good social media crisis strategy you'll have to "hope and pray" that you will make it through the crisis without suffering major damage to the company's reputation! And in my view "Hoping and praying" belongs in church and should not be part of handling a social media crisis…
Thanks again Melissa for your post and sharing some really good advice!
Thanks for the great compliment! Im so glad that you enjoy each one of my posts – I couldn't ask for a better compliment!
You're absolutely right, you cannot prepare or protect your brand from a social media crisis, without first assessing the risk or potential crises that could occur… what would you plan against?!
Hoping and praying will definitely not get you out of a social media crisis with little to no repercussions to your brand, hopefully no one who reads my posts will ever have to rely on hope and prayer! :oP
Thanks for the great comment, Tobias. It's always a pleasure to discuss with you!