THURSDAY 3 JAN 2013 1:53 PM


As has become apparent in the 13 years of the 21st century, social media is here to stay and, more importantly, it has an impact on corporate reputation. Social media is not only one of the key channels for use in corporate communications, its relevance in crisis management situations should not be overlooked.

Despite that, Zeno Group has found that more than one-third of American CEOs do not consider the reputation their company has on social media when making decisions. However, B2C CEOs consider social media more than their B2B counterparts.

Falling well behind consumer-facing companies’ 63% response rate, B2B businesses only respond to online crises 43% of the time. Additionally, B2B companies are twice as likely to entirely avoid addressing reputational issues with their digital audience.

"Our survey shows a much larger percentage of companies than one would expect turning a blind eye to valuable customer views and insights," Mark Shadle, managing director of Zeno's corporate affairs says. “These businesses risk serious reputational damage – as well as miss out on important stakeholder feedback – when they ignore social media conversations about their companies and their industries. Maintaining a positive social media reputation is a business imperative to be embraced by the entire organization, all the way up to the CEO's office."

British organisations fare little better. Research from November shows that 30% of companies do not know how to include social media in a crisis management plan.