Study: Most companies are not prepared for a social media crisis

A new report from Altimeter Group found that companies could avoid or diminish three-fourths of social media crises with additional resources.

As emptied grocery store shelves along the East Coast proved last week, people like to prepare for impending crises. That is, unless those crises are happening on social media sites, a recent study from Altimeter Group found.

“Companies are quick to deploy the latest social media technology, yet most companies are not prepared for the threat of social media crises, or the long-term impacts to business,” the Altimeter report states in its executive summary. About 76 percent of crises could be avoided or diminished, the study found.

Even companies that have implemented advanced social media policies are ill equipped, because of what the report calls “fragmented technology” and a failure to tie concrete customer data to support systems and “the product roadmap.”

How does a company get to that point? By following what the report’s lead writer, Jeremiah Owyang, calls the “social business hierarchy of needs.” Similar to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Owyang’s model lays out a pathway from the basics to social media enlightenment.

Defining a crisis

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