GitLab-based social media strategies to aid in developing your own social media department.
Please use the table of contents to the right to find something helpful.
In times of crisis, it may be appropriate for the social team to pause all brand channel social posts. This is called "going dark", and is a regular part of evaluating whether or not company messaging is appropriate to share at any given time. It is considered good practice to minimize the digital space brands occupy on social media during times of crisis. This can help to not distract social conversation but can also reduce the probability of being accidentally caught up in conversation unintentionally, sounding tone-deaf, or otherwise coming across as insensitive.
When this occurs, time-sensitive posts will be the first to be rescheduled. In the event time-sensitive posts could not be rescheduled, the social team will do what we can to update our stakeholders on what posts won't be published. Non-time sensitive posts will be moved to Sprout drafts, which can then be rescheduled at a later time.
Going dark could have a negative impact on social metrics, depending on the severity and length of time we're dark. Going dark could also negatively impact specific CTAs if we're relying on organic social to perform. These considerations are a part of making the decision and will be communicated as often as appropriate.
Here's what you need to get started.
In the future, many high impact events will cause a 1-3 week pause; there may be times when going on and off is necessary; don't be afraid of piecing together an unconventional strategy. Continue taking on work that is timeless or can be scheduled at a later date - be ready to insert this content, if appropriate, when you are ready to resume publishing.
A longer than 48 hour pause does come with an adverse reaction. Campaigns could (and likely will) be impacted negatively because of this recommendation. We may need to consider what it means to continue pausing paid social, blog publishing, etc., or reevaluating the channels and methods of communications (moving from broadcast to 1:1).
At GitLab, we use the Directly Responsible Individual concept to drive our work. The DRI might be a manager or team leader, they might even be an executive. Or, they may themselves be individually responsible for fulfilling all the needs of their of social media - maybe you are the DRI. Make this decision during the evaluation time after the immediate pause. This person is responsible for taking all feedback and the event progression in mind, along with the info in the "How do we turn back on" section to make the decision to begin publishing on social media again or to extend your pause. Be intentional about naming (or claiming) the DRI.