5 Steps to Handling Your Business’ Social Media During a Natural Disaster
As a business owner, you hope to never find yourself prepping for a natural disaster. Whether it be a blizzard, ice storm, flood, or hurricane, it’s something you are never taught to do. There isn’t a college course called “Disaster Prep for Business Owners 101” or “Managing a Business During a Hurricane 3000”.
I, like many of my fellow Southern coastal business owner peers, found myself on a crash course with this this past week. We were lucky – from what I saw, most came away with little damage, but I know it could have been worse. Everyone had a great support system and stepped up and helped each other.
Before I get too far into this post, let me say, prepping your business physically and prepping your business online are two totally different things. I saw many businesses totally unprepared for this online. Even with a natural disaster approaching, you cannot forget about your social media/digital marketing campaigns. Yes, I fully realize that this may not be the most important element of your business at the moment, but trust me on this, social media may end up being your only form of communication with your fans, customers, and the outside world.
Hurricane Matthew is now a chapter in our “How to Handle Your Business 101” books and even though we know what to do NOW, here’s what YOU should do if you find yourself prepping for a natural disaster.
5 Steps for Handling Social Media During a Natural Disaster
Before the event (blizzard, storm, hurricane) happens, post what your status is.
Will you be closing early or will you be open? Are you closing entirely? The public will want to know your status if you are a brick and mortar store.
Call in the back-ups.
Make sure you have a point-person to monitor your social media if you are not able to.
- Example: I’m in Georgia, 60-65 miles inland. We were supposed to be partially hit by the hurricane. My marketing assistant Jenn lives in Texas – she’s my back-up. She was aware of what was going on so she could take over in case I lost power or internet. On top of that, a dear friend and peer in California also offered her services as well.
Plan C’s are never a bad idea too. Even if you do not have an outside company handling your social media, make sure you have someone other than yourself who