Social Media Crisis
The Altimeter Group recently released the report Social Business Readiness: How Advanced Companies Prepare Internally as a study into how companies prepare for the increasing likelihood of a social media crisis. Altimeter’s research focused on the social media crisis which occurred since 2001 finding 76% of them could have been avoided or minimized with the right preparations.
Altimeter’s research examined companies considered to be advanced in social business and their preparations for or ability to avoid a social media crisis. Given the accelerated us of social media on campus within core services, meaning higher education’s adoption of a social media business model, the possibility of a social media crisis arising is something that should be expected and planned for.
CIO’s have a real opportunity here to continue strengthening their leadership on social media strategies for their institution by understanding the implications of the report as it might apply to their organization. CIO’s should see this as a way to proactively develop a plan for handling a social media crisis on campus in partnership with the marketing and public relations departments.
To that end, CIO’s will find a lot of great ideas for developing a plan for handling social media crisis once one has occurred including ways to avoid making it worse. But the more valuable insights offered in the report are the ideas aimed at strengthening existing social media policies and increasing awareness of social media uses through education and improved cross functional governance. Altimeter’s approach uses a simple idea of a Social Business Hierarchy of Needs pyramid mimicking Maslow.
As a closing thought, in preparing this post I attempted to locate examples from higher education of social media policies or plans that might include social media crisis but I came up empty. As I suspected lot’s of social media policies or plans exist but they are oriented more towards acceptable use. Any focus in those plans on crisis management was about how to use social media as a communication tool in crisis management. Nothing though on what to do when the crisis is social media. So, if you have an example or develop one in the coming weeks, I would appreciate a link to it just so I can see what people are coming up with. TIA.