Tweeting in Times of Tragedy


Social media is an amazing way to stay connected, especially in times of tragedy. You can log in to Twitter and see what's trending, and follow those hashtag conversations to get a real-time sense of what is happening in the world—sometimes more quickly and authentically than you might find on broadcast news.

But what about Tweeting during tragic events from a corporate perspective? Nobody wants to make this misstep.

5 steps to cringe-free corporate Tweeting

  1. Check your schedule—If you've scheduled any Tweets to go out, and then a tragedy occurs, review them immediately and either reschedule, rewrite or delete. Sometimes the most innocent message can be misread when emotions are high.
  2. Pause the push—It's best to pause any out-and-out marketing or sales tweets. Odds are people's minds are elsewhere anyway.
  3. Share your support—A simple "our hearts are with you" is okay to Tweet. It's likely many of your members are caught up in tragic events, and Tweeting a sympathetic thought is no different from what your staff are saying to members in your branches.
  4. Know the trends—If your strategy is to craft Tweets based on trending topics, don't hit "send" unless you're fully aware of what it's referencing—like Entenmanns didn't do after the #notguilty verdict for the Casey Anthony trial (see the image below.)
  5. Not Tweeting—If you're not sure how you should respond to a situation, it's okay not to Tweet at all. People will be so inundated with news and information during the crises, they probably won't notice you weren't on the radar.

What has been challenging for your Tweeting strategy?


Michael Berger has nearly 20 years of experience in the credit union industry – having worked for Canada’s two largest credit unions as well as at a credit union service bureau. Michael is a nearly life-long credit union member who grew up on a farm in a small town. He loves to help others succeed at work and in life, and is always open to discussing the latest happenings on "The Amazing Race."