The world today is a wild place and social media plays a key role in our everyday lives ranging from who we keep in touch with, the products we buy, restaurants we gravitate towards, etc. as well as providing a forum for people to express their opinions, dissatisfaction and sometimes post threats that can impact businesses in a big way.

Getting ahead of negative conversations is absolutely critical, especially before they become threats to your company, and this post touches on 3 things you should anticipate based on our experience guiding companies from around the world.

First and foremost, regardless of how harsh and demeaning a social media post may be, you have to kill people with kindness – turn negatives into positives. Essentially, give the most unhappy/vocal customer the most because a storm can be brewing.

Understanding the potential of one negative post going viral and the ramifications of such is usually the first step towards implementing a social media monitoring program, and also the importance of taking the high road first instead of doing damage control after the fact.

Secondly, think about outside factors in the environment like earthquakes, fires and tornados that disrupt lives as well as operations (supply chains, etc.). These are totally out of our control, but we need to be prepared for them.

If a fire is spreading near your company headquarters and local news outlets are reporting on it an hour later and the social media analytics tools you’re using rely on basic keyword combinations to produce results, is that really actionable? Think about the difference between someone tweeting “this pizza in California is fire” vs “having pizza in California and see a fire” – similar words yet drastically different meanings.

Lastly, one of the biggest threats to companies is not detecting the most important social media posts as they’re happening then becoming a part of the conversation whether it’s to provide information that leads to a sale or make a disgruntled customer happy. Or, as mentioned above, having something catastrophic happen and you’re left in the dark.

Hopefully this post sheds some light on the world today, particularly when it comes to social media threats, and if you have any questions we’re here to help.