Social media war rooms are in the news right now. In fact, they recently were a featured part of a story by Ned Hibberd of Houston’s FOX 26 TV News. The story, which was prompted by Hibberd’s own experience as a consumer, quoted Lisa Dimond, principal of DoubleDimond Public Relations.
It isn’t surprising that this topic is gaining more attention. While social media channels are great for creating interest, hearing from and targeting consumers, they can create havoc with your company brand. All it takes is one embarrassing video posted on YouTube or one thoughtless comment on Twitter and, with the speed of light, you are dealing with a PR crisis.
Most companies – especially those who sell products or services to the public – are taking this possibility very seriously. It’s dangerous not to do so, considering such recent social media missteps as the tweet by a KitchenAid employee during the presidential debate. The tweet was quickly disavowed by the company, which helped tamp down on the negative publicity they were receiving.
Although corporations are not known for moving quickly, social media demands immediacy. You have to communicate in real time – engaging with consumers and responding quickly to online comments and complaints. In fact, with the appropriate response, you can turn a complaint into a positive experience for your customers.
And that’s where war rooms come in. Many large corporations have in-house war rooms within their marketing or public relations department to monitor the use of their name across social media.
Do you need a war room? Unless you are a big company sporting a well-known brand name, it’s probably not cost-effective.
But reputation monitoring is essential for all businesses.