Social Media Crisis Communications

It is paramount to pay attention and listen to the conversation. Monitoring social media allows you to have a finger on the pulse of the conversation online.

This will give you an early warning if a crisis occurs – or, in an unfolding crisis, it will help you understand how audiences are responding. This helps you tailor your response accordingly.

If a crisis is identified, you should be ready to respond appropriately on social media. Responding quickly, even if it’s just “We’re looking into it”, shows users that the problem has been acknowledged. Draft key messages and ensure they are communicated to target audiences and influencers. Acknowledging and responding early will allow you to own the narrative and claim the online space, often preventing a crisis from spiralling. Social media lets you take control of the situation.

If social media users post criticisms of your campaign, interest or organisation, do not delete or suppress such posts if they make valid points. Let the comments stand. Quickly address any inappropriate messages or misuse. Correct misinformation, but don’t engage in heated arguments. Often, the community will correct itself and step in to correct inaccuracies or defend the institution. If this happens and is sufficient to resolve the issue, there may be no need for an additional official response.