October 23, 2017 Lauren Johnson

5 Best Practices For Managing A Social Media Crisis

social media crisis

A social media crisis is bound to happen at some point to your brand. This could be as small as a negative review/comment or as big as when Adidas tweeted, “Congrats you survived the Boston Marathon.”

Managing A Social Media Crisis

Whatever your crisis is, be prepared to handle it with these five tips.

1. Plan Ahead

As the saying goes,“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.” Being prepared is the first step to surviving a social media crisis!

I have a homework assignment for you: plan a meeting with your team this week, brainstorm all social crises imaginable and the plan of action for each scenario.

I know this seems like overkill, but if a social media crisis befalls you, the grunt work will already be done.

Not sure where to start?

Try a crazy situation, like a zombie apocalypse. If you can prepare for that you can prepare for anything. So put your Leslie Knope hat on and getting planning!

RELATED POST: A Social Media Horror Story With A Happy Ending

2. Respond

Often times companies are so afraid of getting their words twisted, they choose not to respond at all.


The most important thing to do, besides already being prepared, is to acknowledge questions or concerns.

If the social media crisis is so sensitive it needs deeper strategy to address, have a generic initial response ready. This shows you take the issue seriously and are working to resolve.

It won’t fix the issue, but it will buy you time to work with your team on a more flushed out response.

Be careful though, absolutely refrain from a knee-jerk response. It is not the time to respond with an emotional tirade you will come to regret. This will only lead to more more trouble!

Just be calm, concise and sincere.

Once your team has time to create a well thought out response, you can begin to disseminate this information to the masses.

3. Take Responsibility

I know, I know it’s hard to accept fault, especially when it is most often grey area. However, there is a reason you are in this situation.

Acknowledge the concerns and address when appropriate. If the crisis warrants a press release share on all social channels.

4. Monitor

This should go without saying, but monitor all social interactions with and about the brand.

Respond with your prepared and approved messaging when appropriate.

RELATED POST: Social Media Trolls: When To Hide, Delete Or Block Them Altogether

5. Be Human

It is so easy feel protective about your brand and be overly defensive. Take a step back and look at the situation from someone else’s point of view.

How would you want to be treated or addressed to if this happened to you?

Respond as if you were talking to them face to face. Don’t be cold in your response, tell them you are sorry or saddened by what happened.

Be transparent and tell them everything you can about what is being done to remedy the situation.

All social media crises are different and will require slightly different approaches. However, one thing will always remain the same: respond and have a plan of action! Trust me on this one, you will not regret being prepared. Now get planning!

Does your brand need help preparing for a social media crisis? Firebelly is here for you. Call us at 317-557-4460, email us at hello@firebellymarketing.com or fill out our contact form.

Lauren Johnson

Senior Social Media Manager at Firebelly
Lauren joined the Firebelly team in early 2016. Her social media marketing advice? Be flexible. Change is constant in this industry.
Lauren Johnson

About the Author

Lauren Johnson Lauren joined the Firebelly team in early 2016. Her social media marketing advice? Be flexible. Change is constant in this industry.



Join our mailing list to receive social media tips & news delivered to your inbox once a month.

Thanks! You have successfully subscribed.