10 Tips for Communicating on Social Media During a Crisis

During a crisis or emergency, it’s important that your business or your brand stays in communication with your audience. This article from Hootsuite has great tips on doing just that.

10 Tips for Communicating on Social Media During a Crisis

Whatever crisis we face—as both professionals and regular people—we all hope that after it passes, we’ll come out changed for the better. On social media, that means strengthening trust and connections with our audience for the long term.

1. Review—and possibly pause—your upcoming social calendar

Context shifts rapidly in a crisis, and brands (especially ones who already worry about brand safety) are right to wonder if, for instance, “finger-lickin good” is an appropriate thing to be saying in the middle of a pandemic. At best, you might seem tone-deaf, at worst, inappropriate messaging could endanger lives.

If you’re using a social media scheduler, you’ll want to unschedule upcoming posts. Have faith that all the hard work that went into your perfect National Donut Day post isn’t wasted, it’s just postponed.

2. Have a social media policy in place

We can’t predict crises, but we can be prepared for them. Especially for bigger teams, your organization’s official social media policy is your best asset in responding as rapidly and effectively as possible. A good policy will provide a solid, but flexible, response process, as well as compile all the crucial internal information you need to move forward.

It’s also a helpful document to have in the case that some of your team members are affected by the crisis and compelled to share duties with non-team members.

3. Know who’s on your “tiger” team

What’s a tiger team? A pack of ferocious specialists that assemble to work on a specific problem or goal. In this case, in the middle of an emergency or crisis, your existing social team might reconfigure, or call in additional firepower to handle the increased pressure.

Identify the people who are best suited for these roles, and delineate their responsibilities so that everyone can own their mission, and act.

4. Make sure employees are aware of your organization’s position

Communications begin at home, and however your organization moves forward, you’re going to need your employees informed and on board.

For instance, if you’re announcing relief efforts, donations, or other moves for the greater good, then proud employees can help spread the word through an employee advocacy program. This is also a good time to remind them of your organization’s social media guidelines for employees (including any crisis-specific amendments).

5. Cite only credible sources

Resisting the spread of misinformation on social media has been a vital issue for platforms, government, and brands these past few years. But in a crisis, bad information doesn’t merely damage reputations, it can be outright dangerous.

While social platforms themselves may implement broader protective policies during a crisis, it’s absolutely necessary to have a fact-checking protocol in place before you share specious claims with your audience.

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Do you need help managing your social media presence during this current crisis? Contact us today at JC Sweet & Co.!