This article was first published in the Summer 2015 issue of OnWindows
Bill Shankly, one of the greatest British football managers of all time, once said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
When it comes to reputation and brand protection, the same approach should apply. As with all matters of critical importance time is of the essence in repairing or limiting the damage. Any action to protect your reputation, which is likely to have been diligently built up over many years, must not be delayed. The last thing you want is your reputation, or indeed your company’s whole credibility, shredded and gone.
Well-documented stories abound of organisations, regardless of industry, whose business or customer performance has been criticised and as a result their very credibility has been impacted by social media.
Perhaps this initial customer criticism was made by a single individual. Historically, such discontent was not unusual and of no great organisational danger. Isolated criticism was always just that: isolated.
But now, this disenchanted individual point of view, can be transmitted to social media and immediately fuelled by other users’ comments and repeated mentions. This rapid onward transmission of negative messages can grow and grow like a forest fire, until the subject ‘trends’, consuming the reputation, the brand, the jobs of senior employees and even destroying an organisation’s share price and capital value.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been wiped off the value of companies, bringing significant damage to individuals and corporations alike.
To have any chance of halting the frenzy that is a social media attack, monitoring is now an absolute requirement for any organisation that values its reputation.
As a result, many companies now have some kind of monitoring system in place. But many delegate the responsibility to an in-house or outsourced team, working office hours Monday to Friday. Many more have no protection whatsoever.
None of these options is enough! Organisations require 24/7 monitoring. Statistics show that most brand damage is done ‘out of hours’, during evenings or weekends when social media activity is highest.
For brand damage occurring at 8pm in the evening, or 3pm on a Sunday afternoon; a response at 9am the next morning is too little, too late.
Solutions such as Insider Technologies’ Sentra Social Network Monitoring provide continuous monitoring, with personalised alerting. This allows organisations to respond to social media comment quickly and robustly, and avoid potential brand and reputation disasters.
John Bycroft is sales and marketing director at Insider Technologies
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