The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Crisis Management

By Udit Agarwal


In today’s digital age, social media crisis management is a critical aspect of brand reputation and public relations. A single social media crisis can quickly escalate, causing substantial damage to a brand’s image and credibility. To navigate these treacherous waters effectively, understanding the dos and don’ts of social media crisis management is essential.

The Dos:

1. Preparedness:

Do: Have a well-thought-out crisis management plan in place. Anticipate potential issues and outline clear steps for responding to various scenarios.

2. Monitoring:

Do: Continuously monitor your brand’s mentions and conversations on social media platforms. Use monitoring tools to track keywords and sentiment.

3. Quick Response:

Do: Respond promptly to any crisis. Acknowledge the issue and let your audience know you are aware of it. Speed is essential to prevent the situation from escalating.

4. Honesty and Transparency:

Do: Be honest about the situation. Transparency builds trust with your audience. If you make a mistake, admit it and take responsibility.

5. Empathy:

Do: Show empathy and understanding toward affected individuals. Address their concerns and emotions with compassion.

6. Internal Communication:

Do: Ensure clear communication within your organization. Team members should be aware of the crisis and the response plan.

7. Consistent Messaging:

Do: Maintain a consistent message across all platforms. Ensure that all communications align with your crisis management plan.

8. Apologize When Necessary:

Do: If your brand is at fault, offer a sincere apology. A well-crafted apology can go a long way in diffusing tension.

9. Provide Updates:

Do: Keep your audience informed about the progress of resolving the issue. Regular updates show that you are actively working to address the problem.

10. Escalate Privately:

Do: If possible, take contentious or sensitive conversations offline or into private messaging. Avoid prolonged public disputes.

11. Training:

Do: Train your social media and customer service teams to handle crises effectively. They should be well-versed in the company’s crisis communication plan.

12. Learn and Improve:

Do: After resolving the crisis, perform a post-mortem analysis. Identify areas for improvement in your crisis management plan and communication strategy.

Social Media Crisis Management

The Don’ts:

1. Ignoring the Issue:

Don’t: Ignoring or dismissing a crisis will only make it worse. Address it promptly.

2. Panicking:

Don’t: Panic or make hasty decisions. Keep a cool head, even in a crisis.

3. Deleting Negative Comments:

Don’t: Deleting negative comments can escalate a situation. Respond instead and address concerns openly.

4. Engaging in Online Arguments:

Don’t: Engaging in arguments or trading insults with angry customers or critics only worsens the situation. Maintain professionalism.

5. Withholding Information:

Don’t: Withholding important information can erode trust. Share relevant details as soon as you can.

6. Making False Statements:

Don’t: Avoid making false statements or promises. Always be truthful, even if the truth is uncomfortable.

7. Blaming Others:

Don’t: Blaming others or deflecting responsibility will not sit well with your audience. Take ownership of the situation.

8. Using Jargon:

Don’t: Avoid using jargon or complex language in your responses. Keep your communications clear and understandable.

9. Going Dark:

Don’t: Disappearing from social media during a crisis can send the wrong message. Continue to communicate and provide updates.

10. Neglecting Legal Considerations:

Don’t: Be mindful of legal implications. Consult with legal experts to ensure your responses align with the law.

11. Failing to Learn:

After resolving the crisis, remember to conduct a thorough review. Learning from past emergencies is essential for future preparedness.

12. Neglecting Prevention:

Don’t: Crisis management isn’t just about dealing with issues as they arise; it’s also about preventing them. Continuously improve your processes to minimize the chances of a crisis occurring.


In summary, effective social media crisis management requires a combination of preparedness, swift response, transparency, and empathy. It’s essential to have a plan, train your team, and always be ready to adapt to the evolving nature of social media crises. By following the dos and don’ts, you can protect your brand and rebuild trust with your audience in adversity.

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