Insights & News

Social Media: How To Prepare For a Natural Disaster

Do you have a social media plan for natural or manmade disasters? In light of Sandy, we want to share our plan with you, and give you some tips as to how to prepare your social media accounts for such an event.

Create a social media emergency plan before a disaster occurs

Natural and manmade disasters don’t always announce themselves. In the case of Sandy, the forecasters armed everyone with a few days of notice. If you live on the West Coast, an earthquake, for example, could strike at any time. It’s important to be ready.

Communicate that plan with all players

If you work in an agency, it is important that everyone knows the disaster plan. It is equally important that the client knows the plan. If you work inside a corporation, make sure your team and the executives know what you’ll do if disaster strikes.

If you preschedule, review all planned posts

If you have time prior to an expected event, take some time to review all prescheduled posts for the next few days. Make sure none of them are insensitive to the situation. It may be prudent to go quiet for the duration of the event.

If you preschedule, take care of the next few days in advance

Preschedule your posts for the period of days you think you might be offline. Consider if adding a post checking in on your fans to see if everyone is ok is appropriate. If you decide to check in on fans, ensure that someone is slated to monitor the account at the time that post goes live.

If you have an Internet connection and it is safe to do so, continue your community management throughout the disaster

It goes without saying that social media posts should never be set it and forget it. Social media never sleeps. Continue to monitor your communities and engage within as long as it is safe to do so if you have access.

Enlist multiple people to monitor your social media accounts, and have a response plan

Make sure you have a number of people monitoring the account and communicate with each other to the best of your ability. Before responding to a post, take a look and make sure no one else has already done so. Continue to consider if your prescheduled posts are appropriate. Pull them down the second you think they could be insensitive.

Consider asking someone in another geographical area to keep an eye on your accounts

It’s a good idea to have social media allies. These people do not need account passwords, but can monitor the account in the event you lose your Internet or mobile connection. If you are comfortable with providing your allies with your account passwords, make sure they understand your corporate tone and messaging.

What social media disaster tips would you add?