A Typology of Social Media Crises

  • Ashwin Malshe


Social media crisis management is a nascent area. Currently no systematic research exists on how to categorize and manage social media crises. In this chapter I propose a typology of social media crises. My typology divides crises along two dimensions: controllability and shock value of the trigger. I don’t assert that this is the best typology for social media crises. While writing this chapter, I attempted several different typologies and found this one more useful. However, in the absence of any quantitative research, I claim neither superiority nor completeness of my proposed typology. Nonetheless, I hope that my writing will lead to more interest in researching a scientifically rigorous classification of social media crises. I use several examples from the corporate world where big brands with large advertising and PR budgets bit the dust. The allure of social media makes many blind to the risks that come with their use. Again, I hope that this writing triggers more interest in assessing these risks better and providing managers a tool for estimating the return on social media investments.

Keywords: social networks- administration -business risk.