Things go wrong: A disgruntled employee with the Twitter password posts a message of profanity. It’s leaked that a C-level executive has been having an affair. An exposé appears in a national newspaper about allegations of bad company culture. As a social media professional, you can’t help but feel empathy for the communications team of these organizations—and hope that the same never happens to you. But with the following strategies from our #SproutChat community, you can allays some of your fears.

Prepare With Room for Flexibility

Planning for unexpected moments is crucial for every company, but quick thinking is also important in crises. Being prepared assists to lighten the load and lessen stress. Still, each situation is unique and requires thoughtful consideration. Understanding the organization’s main values will provide a framework for how to mitigate the negative impact when something goes wrong.

Know How to Reach Your Audience

Social is the first place many people go to get information about a crisis situation. So remember: Remaining silent will only cause more damage. Use your channels strategically to steer the conversation in the direction that is best for everyone.

Activate the Right Players

Each member of your team should know his or her role when things go south. This eliminates confusion and allows for quick and efficient action. The quicker you notify the right people, the quicker you can get your message to the public.


Times of crisis are stressful, but often, it’s not worth stressing over. Take the situation in stride, and remember that tough times aren’t lasting. Use these last Tweets as your mantra to keep your head on straight when you feel as if the world is ending.

Join Us

Join us next week for #SproutChat, when we discuss SEO tips for social media managers. See you on Twitter at 2 p.m. CT this Wednesday, Sept. 16!