Home / Blog /

Social media crisis: when feelings run high and the s*** hits the fan

Written by: Thomas Praus August 16, 2013  

Beware, shitstorm! At least for the latest edition of the Duden, the German standard lexicon and country’s equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary, which recently included the English loanword among increasing anglicisms. Herein, Shitstorm is defined as follows:

‘Noun, masculine – a storm of protest in a communications medium of the internet, which is associated in part with insulting remarks’

Often brands and organizations are hit by shitstorms by suprise and without any preparation. They cannot handle the storm of protest they are facing. That said, the most important question that certainly pops up in mind is: How to survive a shitstorm?

Of course, no crisis is the same and there is no standard solution for communicative challenges. But there are some basic and ground rules as well as preparation routines every company can use to prepare for a shitstorm situation.

For this purpose, the ambuzzador team prepared a booklet – illustrated with examples – in order to provide all the important information needed, to keep a cool head.

The booklet uses the story of a manager in a chocolate company to illustrate how to react in a shitstorm.

Here you go, feel free to take a look and download:

How to survive a shitstorm

What exactly is the booklet showing?

Let us introduce you to Joe, Social Media Manager of the fictional chocolate company called HappyChoco Corporation. Now you probably ask yourself how something bad can happen to something good as chocolate? Well, you’ll see.

A documentary has revealed shocking material about the cacao-plantations from which HappyChoco gets its most important resource: cacao. Now the community is furious and Joe has a full grown shitstorm on his pages.

Here is the most important advice:

Take a deep breath before facing the storm

Always remember: Think first then act. How true this is, remains to be shown in practice. It’s easy to lose your head in times of crisis. The booklet points out the most common mistakes and ways to make it right − with „10 golden rules“ for an easier handling of crisis and tipps on how to be more shitstorm approved.

Activist, Freeloader, Stormer or Troll? Good to know whom you are dealing with

Using the pictured fictional example, “How to survive a Shitstorm” will provide you with a typology of shitstorms and how to react best to the individual group of people and their intentions. Are they more rationally or emotionally driven? Does their focus rest on the topic demanding a change or rather on the general attention? The booklet describes the different types and offers a short advice what’s best to do.

It’s a good thing to feel prepared. However, in case of a happening crisis, which can be quite overwhelming, please contact us for help and additional community management resources.