Preparing for the social media storm

Preparing for the social media storm

“Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”

The famous quote by Edward Lorenz was about unpredictability of weather forecasting but could just as easily apply to social media.

We know that the effects of freak weather can wreak havoc. Hence, we prepare by taking out insurance, installing flood defences or putting in procedures for tracking and measurement.

Any organisation or brand could be hit by a social media storm at any time. The best ones prepare – by using social media monitoring, setting up platforms for response and training their teams.

Effective listening tools are the basis of any social media strategy. The ability to monitor conversations online allows you to detect what influencers are saying about you and make strategic decisions about engagement, both timing and content.

That’s why the Guide to Social Media Monitoring, recently published by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is so useful.

Written by members of the CIPR’s Social Media Panel, the document is designed as a handy reference to help PR practitioners understand what is social media monitoring, how it works and how it should be integrated into organisations. It also provides a short overview of some key monitoring tools.

It’s a great piece of work, but only the start of the journey. Many companies invest time and money in social media monitoring without knowing what to do with the information gleaned. That’s rather like owning a car but not being able to drive!

That’s why Portland has developed a distinctive approach to social media monitoring that focuses on what important influencers are saying about your organisation and the issues that drive your reputation.

Our approach to monitoring combines automated tools with human intervention, so we are able to flag live issues and advise on how best to respond. The Online Issues Monitoring (OIM) service delivers tailor-made reports which combine real-time insights with human analysis from Portland’s consultants.

Each report rates the overall level of influencer interest in your company and core issues, using a Red – Amber – Green classification:

  • Red (high risk): Significant threat, immediate and ongoing action necessary
  • Amber (medium risk): Potential or growing threat, action may be required
  • Green (no risk): No current threat, ongoing monitoring required

Although many of our clients use the OIM to stay on top of risks to their business, the information we provide is not all negative. Positive mentions and praise are also reported on, allowing you to capitalise on and develop positive sentiment.

If you’d like to find out more about this service, do contact me at [email protected].

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