Is your brand ready to manage the crisis on social media?

A “crisis” can be any event that negatively affects your brand’s reputation – and when it hits, you often have little or no warning.

And as social media moves at lightning speed, effective crisis management there may be a difference between a few negative comments and a virus boycott.

5 steps to managing social media during a crisis

  1. Create a social media crisis policy
  2. Pause all campaigns and scheduled messages
  3. Evaluate the impact (aka read the room)
  4. Format the correct response in time
  5. Create actions to resolve the issue

Step 1: Create a social media crisis policy

Before you create your social media crisis policy, it is important to identify what a crisis is.

For example, you don’t need a complete answer every time a dissatisfied customer marks you, but it’s important to identify the problem before it spreads too far.

Brainstorm with your team to discuss when something should be labeled a potential crisis and taken to relevant decision makers.

Be sure to find out which decision makers are in good time. It is important to select those with experience in communication as they are responsible for developing a response strategy.

By confirming this in advance, you will save valuable time in implementing your action plan.

For example, when Covid-19 pandemic hit and the world was adjusting to the deadlock, later the social team worked closely with our PR director to write a statement acknowledging that this was not a “normal activity”.

We then focused on our social strategy to better serve our audience during times of uncertainty.

In the event of sensitive issues, it can also help implement the revised approval process. By knowing what this login process looks like in advance, you can save valuable time and make sure nothing slips through the network.

Step 2: Pause all your campaigns and scheduled messages

Once a potential crisis has been reported, pause all ad campaigns and scheduled messages (temporarily) until you’re ready to respond.

There is nothing worse than feeling insensitive or stormy when a moment calls for a more tactical response.

Also, it’s better to be a little late for a party with the right message than to find yourself sharing pre-planned content that increases audience negative reaction.

TIP: Manage all your social media posts (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok!) Laterhas an easy to use dashboard. It is free!

Step 3: Read the room and evaluate the impact

The best thing you can do during a crisis is to quickly hit the “read room”.

In the case of a larger event, such as a global or cultural movement, take the time to follow what is being said online.

If the situation is internal, review the situation, consider all possible consequences, and revisit previous messages (if applicable) from which you can learn.

While a timely response is vital, you don’t want to miss the character of your first post – most people remember it.

TIP: Enable social listening so you can stay up to date on the conversation about your brand and address issues before they escalate. Later Conversations feature you can follow what your customers are saying – right from your desktop.

Step 4: Correct your answer

Once you have a moment to assess the situation, you can begin the repair in a timely manner.

While it’s important to be in a hurry and sorry, you usually want to respond within 24 hours.

“In sensitive times, it’s more important than ever to respond to comments and text messages from your community. It can be a moment of public confidence that you will remember forever. ”

– Mel Mckechnie, director of social media later

As you approach conversations on your social channels, check your mindset. The most important thing is to listen and tell the audience that you value their opinions and appreciate their feedback.

It may seem natural to take a defensive stance, but this can often do more harm than good – it provokes more criticism and negativity.

Step 5: Create workable steps to resolve the issue

You have dealt with the crisis and things have settled on social media – the panic is over.

But now is the time to follow up.

Successful crisis management means openness with your audience and active communication about change in your company.

This means going for an apology or moving content over a week – you have to dig deeper.

Most people don’t expect a brand to change overnight, but conscious audiences are increasingly demanding responsibility from the brands they support or buy.

Managing all kinds of crises on social media can be stressful. But preparing for the right course of action means you can respond quickly and regain your peace of mind.

Take the time to strengthen your crisis plan today so your brand is ready for anything that comes tomorrow.

Subscribe to the Later newsletter and stay up to date on all the best social media practices – delivered straight to your inbox.

Written by

Lindsay Ashcraft

Lindsay is a social media coordinator later in Northern California. You’ll usually find him wandering the farmers market or planning his next trip. Follow his adventures: @ lindsay.ashcraft.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here