In a PR Week survey of more than 800 business leaders, 79% said they believe their company is less than 12 months away from a potential crisis – and the majority believes it will arise from within the online space. Yet most are unprepared– also by their own admission. According to the survey:

  • Nearly half said they don’t engage in online monitoring to see if their company is being talked about.
  • Half have no idea who key online thought leaders are in their industry
  • More than a third have not designated anyone to be responsible for social media within the organization
  • Three quarters have no program for training social media engagement
  • And less than one-fourth have a digital crisis communications plan to effectively respond

While many B2B companies are slow to adopt social media, you can be certain that their enemies are not. Online activist groups build followings that can amplify negative messages about your brand faster than you can wink an eye. So why are companies so unprepared?

A key reason is that many companies don’t see the business value in being aligned with social media channels. Because they don’t use this channel regularly, they don’t understand its power. They simply aren’t there to witness it. And because many of us are older, traditionalists, it’s not easy for us to change.

My recommendation? Dive in, the water’s warm. In fact, its hot. At the very least, get a monitoring service to see what is being said about your company. Listening posts can provide valuable insight into trends, topics and happenings that are important to your customers. And they can provide warning signs of any emerging crises or issues. We partner with a trusted service that not only tracks brand mentions but also pulls data about competitor mentions and conversations around general industry topics.

After you get a ‘feel’ for the powerful nature of social media, consult with experts who can advise you on best practices for taking a deeper dive – one that will not only prepare you for a crisis but also drive business success.