What NOT To Tweet During A Crisis…
By: Allie Herzog
The Boston Marathon bombings, the recent events in Syria, and the annual September 11th observance have all taught us valuable lessons on what not to do during times of crises. Though most brands these days play it smart and either post a short, non-promotional message acknowledging the situation, or perhaps even safer, nothing at all, there are some brands that just still don’t get it! Here’s our take on what NOT to tweet (or post, or Instagram…) during sensitive times.
1) Misinformation – One of the biggest fails that occurs during a breaking crisis situation (like the marathon bombings) was the sharing and re-sharing of incorrect information. If you’re a news source this is obviously a huge mistake, but even if you’re a brand or individual, sharing wrong information has its consequences. Even if you’re trying to be helpful in sharing info to your followers, a good rule of thumb to follow in breaking news situations is to not share unverified information and only tweet confirmed facts. If you aren’t directly involved, it’s probably best to keep quiet rather than add to the clutter.
2) Regularly scheduled content – Being able to schedule content has become both a blessing and a curse for community managers everywhere. It’s great in that we can load up our streams with content for the day and move on, but it’s also dangerous for this very same reason. By scheduling content and not monitoring your stream regularly (as in, every hour – at least) you may find yourself completely oblivious to breaking news, and tweeting something insignificant while the rest of the world tweets prayers and concern. Even if you schedule content, make sure you are keeping your eye on social media throughout the day and as soon as something comes up that may potentially be breaking news, unschedule those tweets!
3) Insensitive, promotional or opinion-based content – Even after the breaking news period ends, brands still seem to struggle with how to address world news without offending anyone in the process. Some have famously tried (and failed) to inject themselves into the conversion and some have just been plain old inappropriate! The lesson here is that some things are just not an opportunity for “tie-ins.” If it involves war, mass casualty or other tragedy, you aren’t going to win fans by being clever so tread carefully and use your common sense!
These are three of the biggies, but there are several other lessons we can learn from others unfortunate blunders. What else would you add to this list? Tweet us @castercomm or let us know in the comments!