Some fodder for those who are looking to justify moving dollars over to social marketing. A very interesting set of statistics, without a doubt. At the very least, every company should realize that social media can really support and communicate your message when you are in crisis mode. Just make sure you get your facts straight first.
By Michele Gershberg
Brands that use microblogging sites like Twitter to provide real-time responses to the public are winning a higher degree of trust from consumers, according to a study by a leading public relations firm.
Some 75 percent of people surveyed said they view companies that microblog — sending short, frequent messages on sites like Twitter or status updates on social networks like Facebook — as more deserving of their trust than those that do not, according to a survey by Fleishman-Hillard, conducted with market research firm Harris Interactive.
The second annual Digital Influence Index study, released at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in New York, researches the extent to which the Internet affects consumer behavior.
The findings on Twitter are particularly notable in a year where many leading corporations found themselves in crisis mode, from BP’s role in the Gulf oil disaster to recalls from Toyota Motor Corp and Johnson & Johnson and a viral campaign against new diapers from Procter & Gamble on Facebook.
“What really matters here I think is that the rules of crisis engagement that we’ve known for years and years still apply, but they still apply in a much more accelerated way,” Dave Senay, Chief Executive of Fleishman-Hillard, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Part of the lesson is “not to overreact, but also to react with factual information, and don’t get beyond what you know,” Senay said. “And do so not in a 24-hour news cycle, but in minute-to-minute monitoring.
Companies also need to be well set up in the digital world well before any potential problem arises, building a relationship with their customers so that trust can help them manage a crisis, said Brian McRoberts, senior vice president of digital research at Fleishman-Hillard.