Based on what happened to GameStop and how it happened, Ryan Fox, chief innovation officer at AI software company Yonder, said the following insights could help business leaders prepare for a crisis.
Don’t Overlook Low-Influence Groups
“The internet is no longer organized by demographics or geolocation, but by shared passion. These small, hyper-active groups with a common interest, also known as factions, are far more influential than business leaders understand and are often the drivers of brand crisis.
“Given the impact these groups consistently prove they can have over public opinion, brand perception, and even the stock market, it’s irresponsible for brands to ignore them, or disregard their influence,” he noted.
Ring The Alarm Bell Early
Fox said, “To navigate today’s internet, business leaders need to put their brands on offense, not defense. Rather than waiting to dig into why a certain group is targeting your brand or what caused a crisis, invest time and resources into proactively monitoring all corners of the internet.
By catching a potentially damaging narrative in its earliest stages, business leaders can ensure they are adjusting their response and planning accordingly to prevent a costly crisis.”
Enable Your Team To See All Corners of the Web
“Business leaders can’t make smart communications decisions without complete information, and that’s getting harder on today’s internet,” Fox said. “To understand the groups engaging with and influencing conversations around their brands, both negatively and positively, business leaders need to go beyond looking at just shares and likes online on mainstream sites.
“As we have seen in recent weeks, groups in fringe channels have become masters at driving narratives and action at scale that can harm a brand. This knowledge will arm brands with insight into their adversaries and the influence of their allies, so they can build communication strategies that get in front of potentially damaging hits to reputation and revenue,” Fox recommended.