Social media is how we all communicate on a daily basis — but what should your business do when it comes to handling social media communication during a crisis?

What you post online is how the world views your brand, and you want to make sure they’re looking at you in the best and most authentic light. When something is spreading across social media, do you join in and post something quickly or not post anything at all? What should you post? Hay There Social Media is here to help!

ALWAYS make sure you answer “YES” to these three questions before posting anything from your brand or company on social media during times of crisis or heightened topic mode:

1. Is it organic?

You may feel that the viral topics or controversies spreading across social media are something you are personally vested in, and you want to jump in the conversation — but is your business organically vested in the same manner?

You want to show you are on top of trending topics, and stay relevant by joining in, but anything less than authentic comes across as meaningless — and can actually be more detrimental than not posting anything at all.

When you are posting something truly organic that fits in with the conversation, it sticks. It fits. It lasts.

Such as when musical artist Prince died suddenly in 2016. While generations across the country mourned his loss and many businesses and individuals sent their condolences, Chevrolet added theirs in a simple, yet truly organic way: By paying tribute to him, and their connection to him (in his classic song, Little Red Corvette).

However, even though it may come from a sincere and good place, if you’re reaching when you post something, it may come across as trying to capitalize on the situation — much like Cinnabon’s tweet upon the passing of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher:

Cinnabon deleted the tweet that was meant to be a tribute, but it wasn’t organic to them and missed the mark.

Step back and make sure what you are posting is organic and true to your brand.

2. Do I HAVE to acknowledge it?

When a topic is trending across social media, it can be difficult to determine if your brand or company needs to acknowledge it or not. You don’t want to seem insensitive by glossing over something that is impacting the majority of the country at the moment — but at the same time, you don’t want to seem even more insensitive by acknowledging it in the wrong way.

Take Ledo’s Pizza, for instance. They wanted to post on social media that they will never forget 9/11 — as a majority of Americans (and businesses) do every year. Often that’s with the sharing of an image or memory, and thanking our heroes and remembering those we’ve lost.

However, Ledo’s Pizza wanted to add in an image from their heart — but it was viewed by many as a not-very-classy way to acknowledge the day, and they later deleted their tweet and apologized.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all — and that’s OK. AN alternative idea would be to let others speak for you through a re-post or re-share.

3. Have I really thought about it?

These days, it seems to be about who is the first to post and get the attention — or who can find a fun way to jump in the trending conversation. Unfortunately, it’s not always the best response to fire off-the-cuff the second something pops in your head.

It’s kind of like during an argument: Once you say it, it can’t be unheard (or unseen) — and you may say things in the heat of the moment that you may come to regret.

Before you send anything into the virtual world, make sure it has been vetted:

• Read it again. And again.
• Have someone else (or two or three or four people) read it.
• Consider it from every possible viewpoint.

Deleting your social media posts and publishing an apology isn’t fun — and it can tarnish your brand’s reputation.

Take it from DiGiorno: They thought they had a fun, cheeky way to chime in on a trending hashtag (and are known for being witty)…but they didn’t know what they were really jumping into.


Little did they know, the #WhyIStayed hashtag on Twitter was trending in honor of survivors of domestic abuse. So their tweet came across pretty heartless, hence the apology tweet that followed.

Always do your homework about what you’re posting — and that includes using spell-check and editors for grammar AND content itself.

It’s also a good idea to have a diverse team around you, as well, to point out angles and nuances you might overlook.

Bottom line: Don’t force it.

It’s like when you were a kid putting the shapes in the holes of a puzzle: If you have to force it, that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

Need help figuring out what will work when it comes to handling your business social media communications? Hay There Social Media knows the ins and outs…and what fits where.

Contact us today so we can help you make positive social media connections.

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