social media

6 Social Media Management Rules for When There's Crisis In The World

It's heartbreaking. There's been another mass shooting and many have lost their lives in Las Vegas. Last night was the first time I've witnessed an ongoing terror attack that was livestreamed by everyday people. When LVPD tweeted to ask that eyewitnesses not share their locations or tactics, as that could cause more danger to law enforcement and victims, it was a startling realization for me—social media could be as damaging as it is helpful in times of crisis. I'm truly sorry for everyone affected by the terrorism on Sunday night. 


As more brands utilize social media marketing on a daily basis, it's important to adhere to some basic rules. We're responsible for what we share and when we post. The following are rules for brands and companies to adhere to in times of crisis:

1. Be Aware

You should be plugged into current events at all times. This is a necessity for any good social media manager, especially as it relates to Real Time Marketing opportunities. This is step 1. Know what's going on in the world.

2. Take A Time Out

If any of your scheduled posts aren't relevant, reschedule them. Pause. Layoff. No one is going to be working at full capacity in the wake of national terrorism. Not only that, but your brand will be perceived as inconsiderate for attempting to maintain "business as usual" on a day when many are grieving. The only exception to this rule is if your company is directly connected to the tragedy and you're being helpful.

3. Help

Is your organization in a position to help those affected? Whether it's providing access to medical care, or food, or shelter, by all means, utilize your social channels and assist if you can. Share hotlines and information that will mobilize your followers.

4. Be Real

If you're going to post something, make sure it's genuine and kind. Short and concise, a message of sympathy for the victims is what any good person would do. Your brand's social channels exist because people are managing it to communicate with other people. Be human and personal. 

5. Wait

There's an unspoken 24 hour rule that most with-it brands follow when it comes to their own branded messaging. After a short message of condolence, you probably don't need to say anything else. A lot of PR agencies will wait 48 hours before pitching again, out of respect for others. Use your own judgement to decide when exactly you get back on track. Do you really think it's going to be helpful if you proceed with your product launch, anyway? (Doubt it.)

6. Review & Revise

Did you post a goofy meme a few hours before the incident transpired? Well, it's probably in poor taste now. Were you going to announce a sweepstakes winner? They can wait a day or two. It's more than okay to delete any content that retrospectively seems tone deaf or to move your schedule around. Having empathy and being a brand that values people will have a lot more power for your long-term visibility than a happy contest winner.

What Not To Do

Do NOT co-opt any hashtags that are used in conjunction with a tragedy. Some people are searching those tags to find loved ones or sharing life-saving information. It's a really bad look to try and tap into that conversation for your own benefit. And Twitter does not forget. Also, it's just in poor taste.

Instagram For Business @ Ink & Mortar

Mark your calendars Philadelphia! Learn how to Heighten your Social on October 6th and 9th. 

Pretty standard expression & pose by me.  Photo by Lou.

Pretty standard expression & pose by me. Photo by Lou.


We've got a new course on Instagram For Business and we're launching it in partnership with Ink & Mortar. After helping countless business owners maximize their social presence, we now aim to help as many people as possible in the form of hands-on workshops.

Lucky for us, the award-winning company that designs some of Philadelphia's best known brands is also into teaching business owners necessary skills to excel. Recently, Ink & Mortar was recognized by Philadelphia Magazine with a Best of Philly award for their series of Personal Branding Classes. Pretty perfect for a partnership, huh?

Hardly a day goes by when I don't think of Sharon, founder and creative director of Ink & Mortar, in part because I see her packaging and logos all around San Francisco! It's an honor to join her and teach a class that's part of her ongoing series of professional development. 

Instagram is a big part of my life. It's how I keep in touch with some friends, document my travels, and get new clients. Teaching has always been a passion of mine and it delights me that I'm able to share educational content, on a topic I love, in a classroom setting. (Little known fact: I was a high school English teacher for some years.) 

Join us for a dynamic evening class on Thursday October 6th or an AM session on Sunday October 9th. This class is informative and collaborative in ways that webinars aren't. Come for a good time and leave with:

an optimized profile for your business

tools to create engaging content

a life-time community of fellow business owners

Looking forward to meeting you IRL and figuring out ways to creatively address your social struggles. The class is small and a special rate that is much lower than will be offered in the future. Sign up now and don't wait until it's too late!