Tip Tuesday: How to plan for potential pauses on social media

When breaking news monopolizes the social conversation, its often smart to press pause on your online campaigns.

Timing is everything. Any agency or business that is scheduling social media posts in advance should be vary of the risks associated with bad timing.

Whether its social unrest or natural disasters, when the social conversations shifts, your company should have a plan in place to avoid looking aloof, insincere, or out of touch.

Here are some tips to ready your team for tough news situations:

Assign a social scanner.

Pick someone who is in tune with news and trends to be your internal ‘social scanner.’ Have them monitor both local and national news content for potential dates, topics or events that could lead to the need for quick action and charge them with keeping the rest of your team informed.

Designate a system for alerts for potential ‘hot button’ days and topics.

Put a protocol in place for your social scanner to inform other members of your team to the potential issue and level of concern. This could be an outlined email describing the situation, linking relevant news stories, and giving any tips on change to content.

Be mindful of words and sentiments in your content.

Sometimes fully pausing scheduled posts isn’t necessary but a review of word choice is. If a post is written in an excited or sunny tone of voice on a day your town is grieving, you’ll look insensitive. Your social scanner can alert other members of the team to which topic areas may be particularly touchy.

For example, if a wildfire is tearing through your state, avoid any plays on words related to fire, ignition, disaster or light.

Know who is in charge of making the call to pause.

If you have multiple team members working on your social content with access to its scheduling and distribution, make sure you know who is in charge of making the call. After pausing content, alert other team members to its reasoning and potential length.

Stay connected to determine when to post again.         

Sometimes avoiding the social conversation for a couple hours is enough, other situations dominate media coverage for days. Stay in touch with how people are posting and what other companies are doing (or not doing). Read the room and use that to decide when to re-schedule your content.

Don’t become a social media fail! Make smart moves now to avoid potentially hurting your brand.

Need help navigating the social conversation? C2 Strategic has a team of digital experts who work with private, public and nonprofit clients to engage online. Contact us today to start building your audience and sharing messages that resonate.

— Rachel Nix, Staff Strategist

In each Tip Tuesday post, expert strategists at C2 Strategic share communications advice for better outreach and engagement on traditional and modern media channels.

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