It’s important to have a social media strategy. As Marketers it is important to get your message out in a consistent and timely basis; but how do you handle that when a tragic situation occurs within your community?   Does your team have a crisis plan in place within your social media strategy?

Recently there have been some very tragic news stories that were rampant throughout mainstream media.  When the horrible explosions occurred in Boston at the Boston Marathon finish line we at 3H, along with the brands that we represent, chose to extend our sympathies and then remain quiet in our social media streams.   In light of the situation that was the appropriate and respectful thing to do and we were happy to see that many companies and brands chose the same approach.

Alas common sense is not so common and sadly there is always at least one company that puts out a message that the general public is offended by due to poor timing.

Epicurious took a beating over these tweets and have since deleted them and apologized.

We can all learn a lesson by unfortunate situations like this.  Here is a great checklist that your social media team should keep on hand:

  • Turn off scheduled tweets/posts
  • Listen to what your community is saying
  • Just as you think before you speak (or should), think before you type and hit enter

If you happen to say something that you probably shouldn’t have:

  • Don’t delete your post and then go into hiding
  • Own up to it and do it quickly
  • Be honest and genuine in your apology

If you approach your Community with honesty and integrity, even if you made a mistake, your Community will respect you for doing what you can to make things right.  Once the dust settles your true fans and followers will still love you.