Last week, the lovely Charlotte Lyng wrote a guest post for my blog titled “Identifying A Crisis and Managing it Effectively“, in which she stated:

“Organisations deal with problems every day; unsatisfied customers, rising prices, disrupted services, late shipments etc., but these do not necessarily constitute a crisis.”

And how true this statement is!

But wait a minute… huh?

So if not every online grievance, annoyance or even attack constitutes a social media crisis, how can you determine one from the other and where do you draw the identifying line between them?

For the rest of this week I’m going to help you do exactly this:

  • Understand the difference between a social media crisis and a social media grievance
  • Detect the warning signs of a crisis
  • Back these posts up with real-live examples and case studies

So, for starters, let’s identify the difference!

When I create crisis plans for my clients, I differentiate the difference between an online crisis and an online grievance by titling them as follows:

  1. Social Media Crisis
  2. Social Media Issue

These are two very different things with common characteristics:

  • Both can be overwhelming
  • Both need to be responded to
  • The latter can evolve into the former if not dealt with promptly and correctly
  • Your company or organization needs a communications plan for each one

So what’s the difference between the two?

The easiest way to differentiate between a social media crisis and a social media issue is by the negative emotional impact they have, or have the potential of having on your customers, fans, staff and market. A situation that has a very strong negative emotional impact risks going viral very quickly (social media crisis). Whereas a situation that is not very relatable and/or doesn’t have a very strong negative emotional impact, absolutely needs to be responded to, but is usually more easily contained (social media issue).

Now this may sound simple or confusing, but join me tomorrow when I’ll aim to help you learn the clear-cut signs of identifying between a social media crisis and a social media issue.

À demain!