How to Handle Tragedy on Your Company’s Social Media Channel

In light of the recent hurricanes, earth quake and tragic events in Las Vegas, we thought it would be an appropriate time to discuss how to handle a tragedy with your company’s social media. Above all else, you want to make sure that you are being respectful. Less is more and simple is best.

Here are the major things to consider:

Look at your social media calendar for that day. Pause all content for any major disasters or tragedies. You do not want to be the brand posting about your newest #MeatlessMonday when every other brand is either not publishing or publishing messages of support and/or condolences.


Craft a post. Write a post for your platforms that expresses a point of view from your company. Do you use family-related tone, for example? You would want a post that read something like, “From our family to yours…” or “Our hearts are heavy” or “We are all thinking and praying for [community] today.” Make it heartfelt. Do not use it as a chance to market your products. Ever.


Do not make it about you. Post-hurricane is not a time for “retail therapy.” Refrain from inserting your products or business into this conversation unless it is directly related. For example, a foundation raising funds or sending its staff to help.


Refrain from commenting about specifics. Discussing details of the event will be read as inappropriate.


Tie to a charity or cause if appropriate. Share how the company is going to be involved in any subsequent efforts. We would recommend sharing this information after the first day of a tragic event. For example, thoughts and prayers to hurricane victims the day of and a few days later discuss how your company intends to help. Always follow up and share how you helped if you are asking your customers to participate with you or make a contribution through you.


Being in the moment when you are managing your company’s social media channels is crucial to avoiding any missteps in tragic situations. For this reason, our team has news alerts set, combs trending hashtags on Facebook and Twitter and watches the news daily. Being aware of what is happening in the world is so important to your brand’s social media success.

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