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How companies should navigate social media in a crisis

Sharon Gaudin | April 25, 2013
Companies using social networks like Twitter and Facebook need to face what to do during a national crisis like the Boston Marathon bombing.

For a crisis management plan, companies should consider these questions:

  • Who will decide what to tweet or post? Is this a PR manager's job or the CEO's?
  • When is it appropriate to comment? Should you tweet your support or wait till the crisis is over, social channels have quieted down and all the information is in?
  • " If you're going to drop a link in your post or tweet, make sure it's to something helpful, as Southwest Airlines did with the link to flight rebooking information.
  • If you have automated tweets set up to come out during a crisis, cancel them.
  • If your company generally sends out a few tweets or posts a day, consider staying mostly silent, other than sending a message or two of support.
  • Don't stray from what your company is about. If your company sells widgets, don't get into a political debate about gun rights or immigration.
  • Decide how big a crisis or event needs to be before you put a crisis plan into action.
  • Be genuine. If it is something that you truly feel, even if it's sharing feelings of sadness, that's OK.


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