handling your brands social media during a crisis

I’ve been working as a social media consultant for almost 7 years now. I’ve seen many crises handled in a cringeworthy way…and many handled in a respectable and mature manner. I’ve worked with brands that have wanted to post and comment on every damn crisis (completely unnecessary and a recipe for unfollowing) and those that ignore even the biggest events and want to post as if nothing is going on (ignorance is NOT bliss in the world of social folks). You want to be authentic, not just standby and share your daily life and promote your shit as if bigger things aren’t going on. It makes you unlikable, unrelatable, and honestly you seem a little narcissistic. #srynotsry

Here are some tips to not come off as an a$$hole during a crisis. Since we apparently have crises all the time now?

  1. Check your editorial calendar – People do not understand that a brand schedules content out in advance. An ill-timed tweet or paid ad that is innocent at the time can go live and make you come off as ignorant. So please, check your dang calendar. Push back posts a few weeks. You’ll be fine.
  2. Go Dark – If you don’t have anything to contribute, or don’t have anything to say about a crisis…don’t. Don’t be a fraud. But let those that have things to say, say them and open up your platforms to allow them to do so. Don’t clog feeds with selfies and happy hour drinks while people are suffering. You look ignant. Yes I meant to spell ignant that way and know how it is really spelled. For example, I am fulllly aware that the “black and white selfie where you feel beautiful” was meant to draw attention to supporting women, and drawing attention to much larger causes. HOWEVER, it has also been said that the challenge, with 5.3 million posts on Instagram, clogged up social media and prevented the flow of crucial information on topics like racial injustice and other forms of discrimination. I do see the point. And no one nominated me LOL. But I personally found it to be a narcissistic use of time that could have been used to share information about other causes.
  3. Read your Room – If you and your brand guidelines follow thoughts that agree with the cause of a current crisis, go forth and please share useful and valuable information to educate those that follow you. You have followers, people that care about what YOU have to say. Please, be smart and be mindful about what you are sharing during these trying times.

Overall, if your messaging during a crisis makes YOU question if you should share it…you should just wait. Having your beautiful, happy post, flowing amidst images and videos of violence, hatred, and crisis….just makes you look like you don’t give a crap. Be smaht. And always spell check.

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