Twitter’s Growing Importance in Crisis Communications
94% of all PR crises either start or spread on Twitter according to new research from media monitoring platform Visibrain conducted in partnership with Nicolas Vanderbeist, a crisis communications expert at the University of Leuven.
Throughout the year, 19% of PR crises broke on Twitter, making the platform more influential than Facebook (16%), YouTube (4%), and blogs (4%). Consumers were also significantly more likely to criticise brands on Twitter than they were on other social networking platforms, with users being 17% more likely to send a negative tweet than a negative Facebook post.
The research also revealed that blogs are becoming an increasingly common arena for PR crises, with one in five crises seeing consumers use blogs to criticise brands which is an 8% rise since 2014.
According to Nicolas Huguenin, CEO of Visibrain, “Social media has always been a battleground for brands, and it appears that Twitter is leading the trend.
“Despite many brands feeling that they’ve finally ‘got’ social networking, Twitter is increasingly moving from a platform for two-way communication to an environment of trolling and provocation.
“More than ever, users are sharing the negative side of news, and using the platform exclusively to name and shame brands when they make mistakes. While there is still a lot of positivity on Twitter, brands need to be prepared for this new mentality and be ready to react urgently when something does go wrong.”
As a communications practice, crisis management is a key part of our service at Jago. Working closely with a broad range of clients from small companies to government bodies and international brands, we help our clients to protect, manage and, where necessary, rebuild reputations.
Visibrain’s research reinforces our view that in any crisis, the need to closely monitor relevant social platforms to see how groups of people are responding has never been more important. The power and influence that social platforms like Twitter hold, in terms of shaping opinions, cannot be underestimated and social engagement should be a key part of any organisation’s crisis planning.