Reputation management: how influencer monitoring can help to avoid a brand crisis

November 3 2016
Published in Tips and Guides

When it comes to protecting and managing your reputation online, influencers are a double-edged sword. While they can be invaluable as brand advocates, they can also do real damage. Read on for Visibrain’s top tips on how keeping an eye on influencers can help to avoid a brand crisis.

Monitor detractors closely

Keeping an eye on influencers can be a great way to detect rising trends and potential partnerships, but it’s also crucial for spotting a crisis in the making.

Influencers can be true crisis catalysts - their large audiences allow them to spread information fast, with the ability to mobilize entire communities of fans, followers or activists.

This reach gives them the potential to escalate a low-profile issue or twist a positive message into a full-blown social media firestorm in record time, as Sea World discovered to their cost in 2015.

When the brand announced that they would be putting a stop to their controversial orca shows at their San Diego location, their positive message was hijacked on Twitter. Influencers such as PETA and Sea Shepherd joined forces, mobilising impressive numbers of people to speak out against the brand using the #emptythetanks hashtag. Sea World’s positive message and all of its supporters were soon drowned out by a torrent of criticism.

Identify your “anti-advocates”

So how do you find these “negative” influencers? There are a lot of different influencers out there, from journalists and activists to celebrities and bloggers, so do your homework to determine which ones are relevant for your brand.

Mining data around certain topics is the ideal way to identify influencers that could potentially harm your reputation. Monitor conversations around your brand, your products, your industry - or any sensitive subjects that you want to avoid being associated with - to find out which individuals express themselves the most often and what they have to say.

Once you’ve identified your anti-advocates, set up automated alerts to notify you when they’re mentioning one of your topics. While a concerted attack from an influencer is difficult to stop, being aware of the situation quickly is key to responding effectively.

If you want to know more about the different ways of using data to prevent a brand reputation crisis, we’ve written a comprehensive guide on how it’s done. Download it below, and let us know what you think!

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Published in Tips and Guides