Managing a Social Media Crisis
March 2020

By Natasha Michelmore


Crisis management – a term we are all too familiar with in the current climate. With the main power of social media being amplification, things move fast when a social media crisis strikes.

From tasteless posts to risky images, and now, global pandemics, social media crisis management has never been more important.

While it can be hard to predict a crisis, and in the case of a pandemic near impossible, it pays to have a crisis management plan prepared ahead of time.

Here’s our top-line steps to preparing for and managing a crisis: 

1. Plan: Start by brainstorming potential issues that could arise in relation to your brand. You may need to think outside the box for this and stretch beyond the obvious issues.

2. Listen: Monitor mentions of your brand, competitors and key words through a social listening tool. This will help you spot the negative stories early before they escalate into something much worse.

3. Assess: Check whether the crisis you have presented with is in fact a genuine crisis. It’s important to make a decision quickly on whether it is something you need to respond to.

4. Inform: Communicate the steps you plan to take to rectify or help the situation to your audience. Transparency is key here.

Airbnb has been completely transparent with their audience in the current crisis, continually updating their audience on how the crisis will impact their bookings.


5. Act: The earlier you act on a crisis, the sooner the crisis will end and the better it will be for your brand’s reputation.

A good example of a brand that has been quick to act in the current crisis is Asda. The supermarket has made sure any fake news is cleared up on their social channels.



6. Learn: Once the crisis is over, it is important to work out what went well and what you can improve on if you’re ever to find yourself in a similar position again.

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