Social media can be a tricky place for businesses. One false move and you can end up with a lot of negative feedback from the public. That is especially true when people look for someone to blame in times of tragedy. This article will discuss how businesses handle their social media during tragedy, and we will provide tips on staying positive online and communicating with your customers effectively.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Emotion
It’s okay for your business to show some emotion online, especially during a calamity. People want to see that you’re human and care about the situation. Just be sure not to overdo it, as this can be insincere.
It can be challenging to know how much is too much when showing emotion online. A good rule of thumb is to think about how you would react in person. If you wouldn’t cry or get too emotional in front of your customers, don’t do it online. Just a few sincere words can go a long way.
2. Don’t Engage in Arguments
It can be tempting to want to defend your business when people are criticizing it online. However, this is usually a losing battle. It’s best to avoid arguments with people on social media, as there’s no winning in them.
If someone is especially critical of your business, you can try contacting them personally to discuss the situation. This can often diffuse the situation and help you come to a resolution.
3. Keep Your Communication Positive
It’s essential to keep your communication positive during a time of tragedy. You don’t always have to be happy, but you should avoid negativity. People are already feeling down and don’t want to see more negativity online.
Try to focus on your business’ good, even if it seems like a small thing. For example, if you’re a clothing company, you could donate some clothes to those affected by the calamity. Whatever it is, try to do something positive to make people feel good about your business.
4. Take a Break If You Need It
Breaking from social media is okay if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the situation. This is especially true if you’re starting to feel burnt out. It’s better to take a step back and recharge than keep pushing through and making mistakes.
You can also use this time to brainstorm new ideas for handling the situation. Sometimes it’s helpful to get away for a bit to come back with fresh eyes.
5. Be Careful with Your Words
Be careful with your words when communicating with people online. This is true generally, but it’s vital during a calamity. People are looking for someone to blame, and they might take your words out of context.
Try to avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as insensitive or offensive. If you’re not sure whether something is appropriate, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not say it at all.
6. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Be honest with your customers during calamity. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, as this will only worsen the situation. For example, if you’re a restaurant and say you’re going to donate all of your proceeds to the victims but only donate a portion, people will be angry.
It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than to do the opposite. This way, even if you don’t meet your initial goal, people will still be impressed with what you’ve done.
7. Keep Your Communication Clear
It’s important to keep your communication clear during a time of calamity. This means avoiding jargon and technical terms that people might not understand while being concise and to the point. People don’t want to read long, rambling messages during a crisis.
Keep your communication clear and straightforward so people can understand what you’re saying. If you need to communicate something complicated, consider using visuals or infographics to help get your point across.
8. Be Respectful
It’s important to be respectful when you’re communicating with people online, particularly when handling social media during tragedy. This means not making fun of the situation or those affected by it. It also means avoiding profanity and offensive language.
Remember that real people behind the screens are going through a tough time. Show them the same respect and compassion you would if you talked to them.
9. Take Your Time
Don’t feel like you have to post something right away. If you’re unsure what to say, it’s better to wait until you have more information. This way, you can avoid saying something that could worsen the situation. Being delicate is critical when managing social media during tragedy.
It’s also important to remember that your account is not a news platform. Don’t use it to break the news about the calamity. Wait until the official channels have released information before posting anything.
10. Check in With Your Team
If you have a team, check in with them during a time of calamity. See how your team is doing and if they need anything. This is especially important if you have team members directly affected by the situation.
Checking in with your team will help ensure everyone is on the same page and feels supported. It’s also an excellent way to get new ideas about handling the situation.
11. Take Some Time for Yourself
Take some time for yourself during a calamity. It is a tough and stressful time for everyone, and taking care of yourself mentally and physically is essential. Make sure to take breaks from social media and the news. Spend time with loved ones, or do something that makes you happy.
It’s also important to remember that you can’t help everyone. Some people will always be more affected by the situation than you are. Don’t try to take on too much and burn yourself out.
12. Hire a Marketing Agency
There are a lot of marketing agencies that can help you navigate a time of tragedy. They can help you create and implement a plan that will help you communicate effectively with your customers.
If you’re unsure where to start, consider hiring a marketing agency. They will be able to help you create content, manage your social media, and develop a plan to communicate with your customers.
13. Monitor Your Social Media During Tragedy
After you’ve posted something, monitor the reactions. This means reading the comments and responding to them. It also means keeping an eye on how people react to what you’re saying.
If you see people getting angry or frustrated, try to calm the situation down. If people are asking for more information, provide it if you can. And if people are praising you for your response, take the time to thank them.
14. Be Prepared for Anything
Tragedies can happen anytime, so it’s important to have a plan in place to know what to do when something happens. It also means being aware of the available resources to you and your team.
By being prepared, you’ll be able to handle a tragedy in a respectful, compassionate, and helpful way. And you’ll be able to do it in a way that minimizes the impact on your business.
15. Be Empathetic
Understand how other people feel and why they might be feeling that way. Being empathetic also means seeing things from others’ perspectives.
Empathy is one of the most important qualities when dealing with a tragedy. It will help you connect with people and understand what they’re going through. And it will help you to provide the support that they need.
16. Follow The 80/20 Marketing Rule
In times of calamity, it’s essential to follow the 80/20 marketing rule. This means that 80% of your content should be about things other than your product or service. The additional 20% can promote your business.
It’s a good rule because it shows that you care about more than making money. It shows that you’re willing to talk about what matters to your customers and are interested in building a relationship with them.
17. Don’t Take Advantage of the Situation
Do not take advantage of a tragedy by using the situation to promote your brand or sell products. This can exploit people’s emotions for personal gain.
Doing either is wrong and will only make people resent your brand. If you look like you’re taking advantage, it will damage your reputation and make it difficult to recover.
18. Keep Your Business Running
While showing compassion and understanding during hard times is important, you also need to keep your business running. This means making sure that your team is still able to work and that your customers can still get the products or services they need.
It can be challenging to balance showing compassion and keeping your business running, but you need to try. Your team and your customers will appreciate it.
It can be difficult to navigate social media during tragedy. But by following these tips, you can ensure that you’re respectful, compassionate, and helpful. And you’ll be able to keep your business running while still showing support for those affected.
At Bright Vessel, we are a digital marketing company well-versed in traditional and digital marketing and understand how to appeal to customers. Contact us today to learn more about how a content marketing strategy can benefit your bottom line. You can also find our more about our hosting plans through Bright Hosting, and our plugins at Bright Plugins.