How to Approach Social Media During a Crisis

When it comes to handling a brand’s social media during a time of crisis, there are two best approaches.

Option #1: Say something nice and relevant…

Share the trending images or graphics associated with the event that are already all over social media. It’s okay if everyone else is sharing it. If anything, it’s almost a digital display of community, a way of unifying brands in difficult times and showing compassion.

If you want to remain conscious of your brand image, but still show a sign of solidarity, then create your own custom graphic by including relevant imagery and/or trending hashtags or quotes.

Option #2: Or nothing at all.

The alternate attitude to sharing the same content is not to share anything. Keep your social media channels on radio silent for at least 24 hours. Cancel any scheduled content you may have queued up in Hootsuite or Facebook for sales, events or other promotions. Refrain from doing your daily floor lays, even as beautiful as they may be.

Why? The reason is simple—your brand will look appear aloof, insensitive or incompetent otherwise.

When your brand is on a digital platform—a resource that can be reached from anywhere with Internet access—you are bestowed a responsibility as a global citizen to be aware of what’s happening in the world.
One argument you can make from the optimist-opportunist perspective is that there needs to be other existing content to cheer up your followers’ newsfeeds. This is true, but, like all things, there is an appropriate time when it appears the crisis has subsided in the media. 
Even once the crisis “appears” to be over, remember that it still continues even though the news networks have moved onto “the next big thing.” Want to show your followers that your brand is compassionate? Dare to genuinely care about what’s going on with the world and remind your audience that there are always bigger things happening outside of the digital marketing world you’ve created.

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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