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Social media crisis : The Do's & Don'ts

With companies increased use of social media to connect with its customer come risks.  The 'social media fail' phrase has become all to familiar in today's digital landscape.

Making sure a company doesn't fall victim to a social media crisis is key to maintaining their reputation.  

Here's our Do's & Don'ts for navigating a social media crisis:


  • Use a social media listening app

Use a social listening app such as Mention or Hootsuite and make sure it is monitored. Having quick notification of any crisis is key to being able to respond promptly to avert further damage.  

  •  Be Honest

If a mistake has been made be direct in admitting it and express genuine remorse when addressing your social media audience. People respond to honesty and any failings will likely be forgiven.

  • Respond on the most inflamed platforms first

Reduce the chance of the crisis getting out of control by responding to the most vocal critics first. 

  • Create an online resource page

For quick response during a crisis setup a resource page to refer customers to easily.

  • Let all team members know about crisis

Inform all team members know about crisis and how they can respond.  The more hands on deck the quicker the crisis can be dealt with. 

  • Learn from the crisis 

Debrief after the crisis has been resolved to understand what caused the crisis and put systems in place to avoid it in the future.



  • Engage in back and forth responses

Avoid more than one reply to a critic, this begins to appear as an argument.  Offer to converse with these people offline to avoid further damage.

  • Continue schedule online marketing activities

Pause any planned marketing activities if possible until the crisis has been resolved.  Broadcasting any promotional activiites is only likely to inflame the negative feeling towards the brand.

  • Ignore criticism

By not responding to criticism you leave the crisis open to further inflammation as well as giving your audience the impression of not caring enough to respond.

  •  Delete negative comments

Deleting comments will only risk the critic responding with anger at being removed from the conversation.  Simply respond in a reasoned way, some of your dedicated audience may even come to your defence.


Has your business suffered from a social media crisis?  How did you manage it?


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