This is the proper way to respond to public tragedy on social media as a brand

Nobody wants disasters and tragedies to happen. But, in the end, those are inevitable and no one can control it. However, as a human being, we can control how we react and respond to it. In this era, news and information are spreading faster than before, especially with the developing technology. From face-to-face, newspapers, even to online news – we can gather and find information anywhere.

Now, people are more familiar with online things – they can even read news just from using social media. However, reading news from social media also means reading people’s comment on it and seeing how people react to the news, which can be good or bad, depending on each person.

Well, people have their own personal opinion and we can’t judge them for that. That being said, it is a different story if we talk about business. If you are a business owner managing your business’ social media account, everything you post on social media represents your brand.

While you can’t judge people for their personal opinion on their personal social media account, people can and will judge you for what you post on social media if you are representing your brand. Now that people can see news about everything on social media, what about disasters or public tragedies on social media?

Millions of people react differently to public tragedies. Some offer condolences on social media, some prefer not to say anything at all. However, what about a brand? Can a brand say anything? Or should they keep silent to avoid unwanted situation?

The key in managing social media for business is to know that there are certain situations that you need to be careful with while representing your brand. You have to know if some discussions are appropriate for you to join in or not, you have to know when to respond to something, and most importantly, you have to know how to respond properly to it. Sadly, when it comes to a public tragedy being highlighted as trending topic, instead of sending prayers to the victims, many businesses are trying to take advantages of it without feeling sympathy, which can result in damaging their brand’s reputation.

As a brand, we fully understand that business is business, but public tragedy is also tragedy, and we are still a human being. Offering condolences and sending prayers to the victims may not give direct advantages to our business, but it gives us realisation that we still have human conscience and that’s what makes us humans.

So, with that in mind, should we, as a brand, respond to public tragedy? The answer is yes. Not responding to public tragedy can make people assume things, especially if you are a big brand. People judge so easily; that’s what you need to remember. When you don’t respond to a public tragedy, people would think you were heartless and indifferent. So, make sure you respond to it but it should also come from the bottom of your heart. Here are the ways you can do to respond to public tragedy properly:

  1. Express your condolences and send prayers to the victims from the bottom of your heart, not because it will get you more leads.
  2. Join in on the trending hashtag to show unity, not because you want to be recognised. Become a part of an empathic community to show that you really care about what’s happening in the world.
  3. Avoid giving personal opinions especially if that includes political and religious opinions. People don’t need to see that.
  4. Be motivating. In times of tragedy, it’s not only about showing your empathy and compassion, and but it also about demonstrating your hope for healing.
  5. Avoid adding or mentioning something related to your brand’s promotions. Sharing how much you care about the situation for one day without promoting your brand or being silent for one day will not lead your company to bankruptcy. Compassion is in your sense of humanity, not your brand.

That’s how you respond to public tragedy as a brand in a proper way. The most important thing to remember is that you know you care as a human being and want to show compassion as a human being, and even though you are representing your brand, you are still human. We are not perfect, but we can do our best to be kind and nice to others.

George Papdan
George Papdan
CEO of, a creative agency providing a suite of web development, design, E-Learning, application and mobile solutions, as well as SEO services.
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