How To Manage Social Media Crisis?

The potential for a social media crisis is very unsettling. That’s why a lot of businesses just don’t plan for them, have only vague strategies in place, and don’t really know what to do until they’re hit with one.

An online crisis, like any other, can be handled. You will be able to identify threats, avoid them, deal with them effectively, and learn from them if you put in the time and effort and keep a positive team dynamic.

This helpful 10-point checklist was compiled by Julie Atherton, an expert in the field, to help you consider and get ready for an unexpected situation.

Form a crisis response group

In the event of an emergency, who needs to be part of the team, and what will their responsibilities and levels of authority be? In a time of crisis, it is too late to make such a decision; therefore, it is crucial that they have collaborated beforehand.

Trust is earned over time. A group of people who know each other and can rely on each other will do better in a crisis than a strangers who have never worked together before. Maintain a flat organisation with few levels of management.

Establish procedures

Lay out how you intend to handle a critical situation. No one has time to read “War and Peace” in a crisis, so keep it short and sweet, no more than one page long.

Select a unified method of internal communication

To make sure everyone is aware of what is happening as the crisis unfolds, set up a transparent internal communications channel (like Microsoft Teams or Slack).

4. Establish a hierarchy

Where exactly does approval get stamped? To what extent does the team have final say over matters? When and from whom should they seek approval at a higher level?

Recall who your true friends are, number five

Most people have a great deal of faith in traditional media outlets. It’s time to ask your journalist and influential friend for a favour. If there’s an urgent matter, who are they and how can you contact them?

In other words, be aware of the material you possess

To deal with an emergency, your content repository should be well-documented and allow for quick and easy access to existing content as well as the creation of new content.

7 Choose a spokesman to represent your organisation

Responsibility must be taken by someone. They will likely need to show public humility and honesty about the situation, while also projecting an image of authority and credibility in order to regain the trust of employees and customers.

8 Identify the most important social media platforms you need to manage

Where do you have to be absolutely sure that your most important messages get out there? This should not only involve the primary channel through which the crisis is unfolding, but also, in most cases, other channels of equal or greater importance.

Twitter, where journalists and established media outlets are very present; Instagram, where influential people and celebrities can garner a large following; and Facebook, which has a massive audience and is frequently the preferred news source for large segments of the population.

9. Decide on your tone of voice for a crisis

Ideally, it will be in line with your brand’s positioning while also being empathetic, human, well-considered, and honest.

Acquire friends, not foes. When a more amicable strategy can mend fences and calm the storm, there’s no reason to throw gasoline on the fire.

10. Establish a means by which success will be evaluated

How can you tell if the odds are shifting in your favour? How about using a sentiment analysis, the number of complaints, the value of the stock market, or a mix of these and other metrics?

You need to know if your crisis management is helping or hurting the situation, so it’s helpful to have both high-level and detailed indicators.


The internet is a noisy and critical place where people aren’t afraid to speak their minds. The crisis management and public standing of an organisation can only improve if its leaders are attentive to, and interested in, its stakeholders.

Listen to our podcast on How to Survive a Social Media Crisis or read the DMI Guide to Social Media Crises for a complete picture of how to handle a crisis in the digital realm.

Examine the DMI Social Media Marketing course to get a firm grasp on the fundamentals of online brand management.