Tips to Prepare for a Social Media Crisis
May, 19 2020
Brands are given little to no time to prepare for a social media crisis, which has changed traditional crisis management
strategies significantly. With its ability to spread news rapidly across a multitude of platforms, it can be difficult
to control. Social media can exacerbate the problem at hand, but through proper planning, social listening and effective
communication, you can minimize the damage. Whether you’re a large or a small brand, PR News’ Book of Crisis
Management offers tips on how your organization can prepare:
1. Monitor owned and non-owned social media
Brands should monitor their owned and non-owned social media daily to allow more time for crisis preparedness. Non-owned
social media includes blogs, message boards, forums, and any other platform your company does not own. These are places
are often overlooked when battling a social media crisis. It’s best to set up alerts and other listening tools to notify
you of any updates, especially when your brand is mentioned beyond the channels you own.
2. Keep an eye on your competitor
Monitoring other brands’ social media channels within your industry can act as a precedent for an impending crisis. This
gives your brand the opportunity to see questions and comments from users, which can help you develop the appropriate
responses. Observing what worked and didn’t work for them can guide your strategy.
3. Prepare your responses
Create a list of the questions you anticipate receiving and prepare the responses in advance. The midst of a crisis is
not the time to be figuring out key messages. Have these responses already approved so that no time is wasted.
4. Halt non-crisis related social media
Once you’ve determined that your brand is in a crisis, the first step is to stop publishing all unrelated content for
the duration of the crisis. Carrying on with regularly scheduled content could make your brand seem tone-deaf and
insensitive. While this may mean temporarily blacking out your social media, it is necessary until you’re fully prepared
to handle the crisis.
5. Assign roles before the crisis
Establish a crisis management team and ensure that the organization’s mission and values are understood. Assign who
monitors social channels, writes the responses, approves the responses, and publishes the responses. It’s also in your
best interest to brief senior leaders with statistics and examples on the risks the brand could encounter on social
Keeping track of engagements, mentions, demographics and other key metrics can serve as a guide for your next potential
crisis. Looking for a PR team that plans ahead in order to minimize damage? Contact or stay social
with us! We’re just one call, like, follow, retweet, and DM away.
Do You Want to Reach a Larger Audience?
We drive online and in-person traffic to San Antonio businesses every day.Let's Chat