When scheduled social media posts should come to a screeching halt

When tragedy strikes our society, we usually turn to Facebook and Twitter to capture the latest updates or commentary about the events and their aftermath.

I know that when I’ve searched my feed for the latest update about an event, I find it a bit jarring and out of place to suddenly have a sales pitch show up. Or, some random update that is, in light of the tragic event at hand, inconsequential.

Even though I fully understand why it happened—in most cases, it was probably a scheduled post that didn’t get deleted because you scheduled it a month ago and moved on to other activities.

In the moment, understanding how it could happen doesn’t make those sudden, out-of-place updates any less annoying and in some cases, alarming. This is not a feeling you want people to have when they think of your brand.  

When tragedy strikes, one of the first thoughts on a business owner’s mind should be making sure they are not broadcasting messages that would be inappropriate in the given time and space. Many of us schedule our social media updates and then think “oh, that’s done.” Those posts can and should be deleted in the time of a national or local emergency. This includes blog posts the day of the event and perhaps even the day after a major tragedy.

Don’t manage your own social media? Don’t panic, just communicate. If you have someone else managing your social media such as a marketing agency, I advise you to discuss this with them.

Find out what arrangements can and should be made to delete scheduled posts in the event of an emergency. This should be part of the initial negotiations and a service that should be offered. It may cost a small amount beyond your monthly contract for the extra time it will require, but it is well worth it to protect your brand from creating negative feelings in the social media world.