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Natural Disasters – A Small Business Social Media Response Plan

by Shannon Huppin on December 6, 2017

Natural Disasters - A Small Business Social Media Response Plan - Divahound

In light of the recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires that wreaked havoc on our planet, having a plan in place for how to respond to such disasters via social channels is a good idea for all small businesses. From a local emergency to a national news-making event, communicating with your public during a disaster can make or break the days, weeks, months and years that follow. Here are some best practice guidelines for small businesses to consider when facing a disaster.

Timing Matters

When a natural disaster strikes, when you respond matters almost as much as HOW. If your community is under threat, encourage people to take cover or other appropriate action. Let them know if and when your business hours will be altered and how and when you plan to reopen.

If you respond too late, people will either A) not pay attention or B) assume you didn’t care and are only piggybacking off of other disaster responses. Be upfront when responding to something that affects people’s lives, and feel free to tell them how it will affect you, your business and your employees as well. Humanizing a situation is never a bad idea.

Don’t Be Afraid to Back Off

Sometimes there is nothing you can do about a disaster. If this is the case, tell your public that you’re thinking about those affected and that you may not be posting as often as you normally would out of respect for those dealing with the disaster. This is a dignified way to give everyone a little break from the bombardment of news that will clog their feeds in the days and weeks to come.

Don’t Be Afraid to Dive In

If the disaster is directly affecting you and your business, don’t be afraid to tell people about it. You can build a rapport with your community by reaching out to those in need, and sharing your personal story gives people a look into your brand and how your business is an extension of YOU. Again, humanizing your small business helps people know who you are in a different way, and may lead them to shop with you later and potentially become brand ambassadors.

Choosing to host a community food or clothing drive make for great social content, in addition to helping spread the word about your efforts to help the people in need. Social media is fast becoming a game changer in disaster response and recovery.

Give All the Appropriate Information

If you have important information about when and how people can get help in a disaster, send it out. Make sure it is timely and appropriate. Having someone from your team available to respond to questions and comments becomes increasingly important during a disaster.

Divahound can help you create a social media plan for any time of year, including crisis communications and disaster response. Contact us today and let us know how we can help!

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Shannon Huppin

Social Media Manager at Divahound, LLC
Building a Social Media Presence For Your Small Business. The Diva of Social Media. We're Ready to Play. Are You?
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