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When Should You Call a Social Media Threat a Crisis?

When you listen to conversations about your brand on social media, take note of the frequency of negative comments and the topics associated with such sentiments. However, not every pessimistic tweet or Facebook rant should be treated like a major crisis. Check out these three levels of risk to determine when you need to call your crisis communication team to your side.

1.     Low-Level

Low-level threats can include comment spam, negative comments and fake Twitter accounts and Facebook pages mocking your brand. Keep a close eye on the user’s activity to make sure nothing snowballs into a bigger issue.

2.     Medium-Level

Negative internal tweets, outside posts focusing on inaccurate facts or comments on your brand’s sales activity are often considered medium-level threats. Reach out to those involved to correct inaccuracies or make a public apology if the threat came from an internal employee. If you properly handle these threats, their presence can fade away as fast as they appeared. However, if you don’t prepare in advance, medium-level threats can just as easily burn your brand’s reputation.

3.     Serious-Level

If you fail to monitor your social media channels regularly, a negative comment that started off as a low-level threat can escalate, especially if similar comments continue to be made by additional clients. Other serious-level threats include hackers gaining access to client data, online articles posing legal risks–such as copyright infringement or libel–or  employees disclosing internal information to the public. Gather your crisis communication team and implement the appropriate communication plan as soon as possible to reduce the impact these threats have on your brand.

Prepare yourself for a social media crisis. Click here for our free white paper that will help you plan and manage crisis communication in today’s social world! 

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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