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An Entrepreneur's Guide To Navigating Social Media Amid A Crisis As an entrepreneur, you're not just representing your business; you're representing yourself and your values.

By Katharina Hicker Edited by Aby Thomas

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In a world of rapid-fire, viral posts, instant share, and quick reactions, mastering social media is a must for any entrepreneur. But what happens when the world around you is embroiled in political conflicts and humanitarian crisis? Now, you're not just navigating hashtags and emojis– you're treading on thin ice, where a single misplaced word can send ripples through your professional and personal life.

Let's set the stage. Social media, particularly for entrepreneurs, is a double-edged sword during crises. On the one hand, it's a powerful tool to express solidarity, raise awareness, and mobilize support. On the other, it's a minefield, where a single "lazy" post can backfire spectacularly.


In times of crisis, silence can be your most potent weapon. Before you rush to post your thoughts on every twist and turn of the situation, pause and think. Gain awareness of your own emotional response before contributing to the noise. Silence communicates humility, respect, and thoughtfulness. It shows that you understand the gravity of the situation, and are taking the time to process it. So, when in doubt, take a breath- and a break.


Now, let's address the necessity of speaking up. When you do decide to share your thoughts or support a cause, approach it with diplomacy. Be clear, concise, and above all, considerate. Remember, the digital world can be brutal, so choose your words wisely to avoid unintentional controversies, misunderstandings, and provocations. Consider this post from an entrepreneur: "This is an absolute disaster! The blame is 100% on X." Strong, perhaps even accurate, but it's missing nuance. A better approach would be: "These are challenging times, and it's essential for us to support one another. Let's focus on finding solutions that benefit the humanitarian efforts." Here, you are acknowledging the problem while promoting unity. You are creating value, rather than adding fuel to the fire.


In times of crisis, the ability to understand the emotions and concerns of your audience is invaluable. Acknowledge the pain, frustration, and fear that people might be feeling right now. Let them know you share these sentiments. For instance, say: "I can only imagine the distress many are going through right now. Let's stand together, and work toward a resolution." Here, remember, you can say your piece, but keep the conversation respectful and open-minded. Encourage different viewpoints, but stay firm in your values. So, use statements like: "I recognize there are varying perspectives on this issue. I'm open to discussing and learning from diverse viewpoints." This way, you're fostering dialogue, instead of conflict.

Related: Reputation Recovery: Why Businesses Should Have A Strategy In Place For When A Crisis Hits


Being timely is also crucial. While remaining silent initially is wise, when you decide to speak, ensure that your message is relevant. Share information that truly matters and contributes positively. For example: "Here are resources and ways we can help those affected by the crisis." Your message thus becomes not just noise. Also, consistency and transparency are your best friends. Be reliable, accurate, and transparent in your communication. Finally, before you hit that 'post' button, ask yourself these questions: is it respectful? Is it relevant? Is it empathetic? Will it promote unity? Your words hold immense power, and with great power comes, you guessed it, great responsibility.


Of course, it's not just about what you say; it's also about what you do. Actions speak louder than words. If you genuinely want to make a difference, roll up your sleeves, and get involved. Share your contributions and efforts to inspire others to join in. Whether it's fundraising, volunteering, or support initiatives, showing your actions on social media can be a powerful catalyst for change.


Backlash is almost inevitable, especially when discussing sensitive topics in times of crisis. The key to handling negative reactions is to remain poised and empathetic. If you receive negative comments or criticism, don't react impulsively. Take a step back, assess the feedback, and respond calmly. Address concerns, offer clarification, and, if needed, apologize when you've made a genuine mistake. Criticism can be an opportunity for growth and learning. The most important thing: don't post and hide. Once you took a stance, it's your time to listen.

As an entrepreneur, you're not just representing your business; you're representing yourself and your values. Your social media presence is an extension of your personal brand. How you navigate these choppy digital waters will shape your personal and professional reputation, but it will also contribute positively to the resolution of these turbulent times that we find ourselves in. So, be mindful, be empathetic, and be bold in your pursuit of constructive social media communication.

Related: How To Ruin Your Brand (Basically, This Is What You Don't Want To Do With Your Business)

Katharina Hicker

Managing Director, Castleforbes Communications

Katharina Hicker is the Managing Director of Castleforbes Communications, a boutique public relations (PR) consultancy specializing in communication strategies across the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. She is also a communications coach, with over 15 years of Fortune 500 experience. With leadership roles at Google, Careem, and McDonald's, Kat excels in coaching executive speakers and guiding professionals on their journey to enhance their communication skills, and propel their careers to new heights. 


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