Social Media & Tragedy

TRAGEDYAs we mourn the loss of life from the horrible massacre in Las Vegas, it’s important to remember to have a social media plan for when tragedy strikes.


Whether it’s a natural disaster – such as the hurricanes that devastated Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico – or the senseless violence that rained down on Las Vegas, your social media team needs to know how to take immediate action. 


Here is the procedure we follow for our clients: 

  1. Communicate the plan to the business owner. 
  2. Stop all marketing efforts – immediately. 
  3. Check all scheduled posts and pause them. 
  4. Acknowledge the event. 
  5. Change cover photo, if appropriate. 
  6. Is there an emergency plan that needs to be activated? Yes? Implement immediately. 
  7. Create posts for all platforms showing support for the incident that happened. 
  8. Determine a date to begin adding marketing posts back to the schedule. 
  9. Determine how much “news” you will post about the event. 
  10. Remember to refrain from marketing during the established timeframe.


There are no hard and fast rules surrounding these events, and we cannot plan for something as mind-blowing as the events in Las Vegas. However, you can have a plan and be ready to use and modify it as the situation dictates.


We must remember that this is social media, and your marketing efforts may appear harsh and uncaring in the light of a national tragedy. When others are hurting, whether it happens in your city or across the globe, we must stop and be human. We must remember to join the conversation, not shout above the crowds.




If you have a social media team, take a second to double-check with them about the plan for a catastrophe. Make sure everyone knows what to do and when to do it. 


If you are an agency, remember that the city or town affected by the tragedy will implement the above plan. However, your other businesses not located in that city or town will also need to acknowledge the events. At a minimum, a post about it is required, on all platforms. 

If you have any further suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. 



Robin Wilson is the co-owner of SCP Agency

She is a self-proclaimed social media guru and specializes in social marketing for auto dealerships. She has also been instrumental in teaching auto dealerships how to market through social media to their existing database and shows them how to make sure that they do not become victims of conquest marketing. She is a marketing coach to all and has become a leader in Facebook marketing strategies in the U.S.


Robin Wilson 12:58 PM (7 hours ago) to me