What’s a crises? We did analysis on the list of social media crises aka “punkings” to find out what went wrong, why, and what should have been done.
First, a workable definition on Social Media Crises for this report: A social media crisis is an issue that arises in or is amplified by social media, and results in negative mainstream media coverage, a change in business process, or financial loss.
To refine further, while crises may happen on a daily basis we wanted to focus on crises that had the actual outcomes: We categorized each crisis according to three severity levels: Level 1 is for crises that result in negative coverage in mainstream media; Level 2 is for crises that result in negative coverage in mainstream media, and a significant response or change by the company; and Level 3 is for crises that result in short-term financial impact.
Above: Social Media Crises (as defined above) are on the Rise
To make matters worse, we also saw a slight uptick from unavoidable NGO attacks against brands (like Greenepeace vs Nestle/Mattel), which is a new form of one organization and its members attacking another, causing their social media efforts to quickly be overrun from hundreds to thousands of NGO fans.
Above: Yet most can be Diminished or Averted, and Causes of Most Crises Originate from Company
Interestingly, we found that 76% of these crises could have been prevented or diminished had the brand been prepared and had proper training, staff, and processes to respond (Read the report in detail to learn more).
Above: Embedded is the report, which details the methodology, findings, and recommendations. 30k views in 24 hours on slideshare.
In this Report, Learn How Advanced Companies Prepared
What you’ll find in this report, is we found out how the advanced companies (I’d also add that many of them have experienced crises as a turning point, like Dell) used this to their advantage to spearhead internal change momentum. We found there are four common ways brands are investing in internal readiness, and we dissect their business benefits, as well as where they need to continue to invest. Here’s the full report, embedded below, you can download it from slideshare at well, there are no registration pages.
In a tribute to Maslow’s work on our individual hierarchy of needs, we noticed a pattern than companies undergo a similar growth. Companies must fulfill the requirements at the bottom of the pyramid and then layer on top of success, building each layer. To date, we found only a few companies that are getting near enlightenment, which we will feature in our upcoming work. Here’s a pattern we found from the advanced companies:
1) Foundation: First, develop a business plan and put governance in place.
2) Safety: Then, get organized by anointing a team and process to deal with crises.
3) Formation: Next, connect business units to increase coordination and reduce duplication.
4) Enablement: Grow by letting them prosper – give business units the support and flexibility to reach goals
5) Enlightenment: Finally, weave real-time market response into business processes and planning.
Open Research: Read it, Apply it, Spread it
The more you spread it, the easier it is for me to produce more reports. This research was 100% funded by Altimeter Group, and we are releasing it under Creative Commons so you can use it in your planning, presentations, and blog posts. You can download the report directly from Slideshare, and use the images provided below for your slides. I’ve embedded sharing buttons on the upper right side of this post, for your convenience. This six month plus research project was conducted by a team, and I’d like to thank Andrew Jones, Christine Tran, and Andrew Nguyen.
Coverage: Related Links About This Report
I’ll cross link to valuable reviews and mentions.
- Crises List: The list of social media crises “punkd” list that the analysis was based on
- Flickr: Here’s all the graphics, use with attribution
- Altimeter Blog: Cross posted
- Scott Gulbransen head of social at Applebee’s writes
- Head of social strategy at JDA Software Cindy Kim reviews the core requirements
Press, Media, Interviews
- Business Insider: STUDY: Most Companies Are Utterly Unprepared For A Social Media Crisis
- B2B Magazine: The Four Things You Need to be Ready
- Financial Standard posts the highlights
- Mashable: Anatomy of a Social Media Crises
- For Immediate Release (Holtz and Hobson), Shel’s post, Neville’s post
- SMI: 2011 the year of social media crises?
- Jason Falls: Social Readiness Report
- POV: Companies most ready for social media don’t block, experience fewer and less damaging crises
- Mark the Higher Ed CIO discusses the urgency of being prepared
- Shel Holtz covers the report, and discusses our future FIR interview
- Terri discusses needs of social business readiness
- Neville Hobson discusses the report highlights, who I’ll chat with on the FIR show
- Brian Vellmure who focuses on CRM asks if companies are on the verge of a crises
- Michelle Blanc covers the report in French (French)
- Karsten Füllhaas, in Switzerland shares the report in German (German)
- John Lang of the Lone Wolf Librarian blog discusses the importance of being prepared
- Smart Insights highlights the importance for crises prepardness
- Edelman’s Michael Brito: Altimeter Group Reveals Social Business Readiness
- We Are Social (European based Agency) blogs their perspective, in Italian
- Tac Anderson, VP of Digital Strategies, EMEA at Waggener Edstrom blogs about how a Little Education goes a long way
- Weber Shandwick’s David K, discusses the importance of crises preparation
- Warc: Brands fast social media crises
- OneChocolate Communications highlights crises planning
- eModeration reviews the findings and the report
- David Armano, executive at Edelman references the report and adds his own frameworks and POV
- iCrossing: Empower your employees through social media guidelines
Social Software Providers
- Bazaarvoice allows me to guest post, discussing the report, and my keynote where we’ll discuss the findings
- Seesmic blog reminds the market to be prepared
- Uservoice: Altimeter says: failing to make customers happy is the #1 cause of social media crises
- Seesmic also posted in Japanese
- Social Media Club shares the five things companies must do to be prepared
- Community Roundtable covers the report, pointing out how internal processes are so key
- Ragan.com covers how most companies are not prepared
- Womma highlights the need for social preparedness
- Marketing Profs: Social Media Crises are on the Rise
Learn More: Upcoming Speeches and Webinars Discussing These Findings
Here’s a few upcoming locations I’ll be discussing these findings, to learn more, see my speaking page.
- Webinar with Marketing Profs, Sept 29th for Pro Members
- Keynote: Awareness Exploring Social Media Business Summit,Oct 17, 2011, Burlington, MA
- KMWorld, Nov 1-3, DC
- Keynote: Bazaarvoice London Summit, Oct 18, London
- Keynote: LeWeb, Dec 18, London
- For Immediate Release Podcast (upcoming episode)
Update: Thanks Jon Spangler for noticing a typo, which I’ve corrected