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Business Social Media Response to a tragic event

What should you post after a tragic event?

What should you post after a tragic event?

In light of recent and sadly future tragic events – particularly of a terrorism nature in the world, what is the best way your business should respond on Social Media? Undoubtedly this is a very sensitive subject, and when a crisis happens there is an enormous outlet of emotion on Social Media.

 Should your business react?

Should your business acknowledge tragic events and if so how and when? Even the tiniest mistake can trigger a massive backlash and really damage your brand and your well meant intentions are completely crushed.

In my experience as a Social Media Manager managing other businesses Social Media Accounts this is what I suggest:

 10 Tips for Businesses in response to a tragic event:

  1. If your business/brand is not, in any way related to the tragic events, then it is best to stay silent. If you have employees or their families affected, then a single statement of sympathy acknowledging the loss should suffice.
  2. If that tragedy is local – in Australia, then sharing a post without commenting from an official Facebook Page Source, such as the Australian Federal Police could be shared on your page. If you wish to share a post with regards to an overseas event, then an example of this was when the Sydney Opera House was lit up in the French Colours. Sharing the post from the NSW Premier Mike Baird’s Office can be seen as acknowledging and supporting the show of respect but not in any way leveraging the opportunity for promotion of your business.
  3. Do reschedule your posts if they could be considered sensitive or uncaring and dismissive of events overseas.
  4. Revise your content in the days ahead. Perhaps don’t even post on the day, or the day after the tragedy. Edit and remove sensitive content, re-plan posts and give way to honor & show respect to the event & people involved.
  5. Share useful links to resources – particularly if it is a local tragedy. These links could be to a charity, Government Agency or fundraiser. This needs to be of benefit to victims and their families
  6. Most importantly make it sound personal and be humble, like your message is coming from a real person and not a brand.
  7. Be careful using hash tags and quoting sensitive statements. Don’t mix politics and religion, stay neutral.
  8. Don’t express personal sentiments through the brand account. It’s improper and won’t serve any useful purpose.
  9. It may be business as usual, but keep in mind you don’t know if employees at other businesses you deal with have been affected, so proceed with caution if this may be the case.
  10. It goes without saying, never use a tragic event as a promotional opportunity, people will see if for exactly what it is and it’s poor taste.

 For more information:

Sadly these world tragic events will continue to happen, and lately they seem to be more often. Hopefully these tips can assist your business on how to respond to a tragedy or crisis both overseas and in Australia. If you need further assistance please contact us at Leave it with me Social Media.

Jennifer Brosnan

Jennifer Brosnan, started Leave it with me in 2012, a Social Media Specialist Service. The business helps small to medium businesses to grow their business online, build positive brand awareness, generate more leads and to ignite and build active audience engagement by sharing, supporting and connecting through social media.

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