Companies often ask us, “Do we need to be on social media?” It’s not really a question for consumer companies, but it’s quite the conundrum for B2B folks. If there’s one overriding reason for being “on” social media–its crisis preparedness.

If you plan to use social media to help deliver your message during a crisis, it might be wise to learn about social media–and use it–before a crisis strikes. The complexities are tough enough, let alone trying to navigate them when you and your staff are stressed.

To measure your preparedness, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are the key online influencers in your industry: the people and groups that regularly post topics and trends important to you (and your potential customers)? Knowing these contacts and building relationships with them in advance will be immensely helpful should you need their help in a crisis.
  • What are your key trade journals and associations doing in the online space, and how are you supporting them? Again, a trusted relationship, built over time, can make all the difference in their response to you during a crisis.
  • Who in your industry is on LinkedIn? Do you know how to reach them? Have you begun to position your company as a resource to these individuals?
  • Who at your company is the best person to handle a crisis in the social media space? Do you know how to appropriately respond, both legally and in terms of reputation?
  • Could you get a statement posted to your website in less than two hours if needed?

These are important questions to ask and real reasons for B2B companies to be active on social media. Of course, we know the value goes far beyond crisis response. But for those companies that need an extra push, it’s something to consider.