Social Media Crisis Checklist

Social Media Crisis Checklist

From boycotts to recalls to bad publicity, a crisis can strike at any time, for any brand. While it would be great if we could predict them, the reality is you can’t control when a crisis will occur. Therefore, it is important to be prepared at all times for a crisis on your social channels; that way, when one strikes, you can follow your plan and handle the issue accordingly. Here’s a social media crisis checklist to ensure that you are ready for any situation that might arise.

Checklist box

Create an internal notification plan

Who will be notified if a crisis occurs? Your plan should include how a social media manager would notify the larger brand team if a crisis is discovered via social. Also, be sure to write out how the brand team or PR should flag any potential crises to your social media manager, so they can prepare to track and monitor social conversations surrounding it. Include contact information for all and keep it up to date so it is always useful.

Determine a volume threshold

A volume threshold refers the number of incoming messages you might be seeing about a crisis. Determine the severity of the crisis according to the increase in messages about the topic. For example, a level 1 crisis might just be a few tweets directed at your brand. Level 5 might be thousands of mentions. Choose thresholds for each level to help guide your decision-making should a crisis occur.


Develop an action plan

Now that you have a guide for how severe the crisis is for your brand, you’ll want to develop an action plan that details how you’ll respond to each level of severity. For level 1 crises, you might continue posting your usual social content and not respond to any comments about the issue. For a level 5, you might stop all social advertising and organic posting until the conversation dies down, while responding to incoming conversations with a pre-planned statement. Appropriate processes vary brand-to-brand, so work with your PR and brand teams to determine exactly how you’ll handle publishing and responding to conversations during a crisis.

What’s your plan

Craft an appropriate social response

Depending on the level of severity, your team might decide to issue a response on social media, either in the form of a post or individualized responses to incoming messages. Be sure to compose a sincere response that addresses how you are fixing the current issue and how your brand will prevent future related issues. If pieces of information are missing from the statement, your audience will notice and call it out – so it is best to be as thorough as possible. Be sure that employees and key stakeholders know and understand the messaging, so they can share any official response as well.

If you have these items prepared prior to a brand crisis, you’ll be much better equipped to manage any crisis as it unfolds. Want more information or help developing a crisis management plan? Contact us.

Ignite Social Media