Social media has evolved from a niche option to a central part of every company’s marketing strategy. However, with that comes greater consequences when things go awry. Every year, we see examples of major companies making mistakes and flubs on social media
The prominence of these platforms means that news can spread fast, and a single moment’s poor judgment can result in you losing customers in an instant.
With this said, a lot of the damage that a social media faux pas causes is not just through the nature of the error itself, but how a company responds. If handled with thought and sincerity, a faux pas can actually be a positive brand moment for a company. A poor response, on the other hand, can just make things worse. Here are some of the key steps to take.
Act quickly: Speed is important when it comes to any sort of social media mistake. For example, if you accidentally put up content or interactions that can be seen as offensive, the longer it’s public, the more time there is for people to look at it. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you can sweep it under the rug if you act right away. However, the longer a social media mistake is up, the quicker it can spread and be shared. This means you need a social media management and auditing plan that will quickly check posts for mistakes, concerns and Recall an unwanted or erroneous post quickly. The quicker you take it down, the sooner you can control the ripple effect. CloudSocial has all this feature that can help you act quickly for all your social media management.
Be forward, honest, and transparent: So let’s say you take down the offending post, but your audience is already aware of what took place. You will need to step forward and provide some sort of explanation and apology regarding the incident. While you may feel defensive at first, especially if you’re getting a lot of backlash for your brand, you have to stay professional. Make sure your messaging is formal, clearly addresses what took place, and what actions you have taken to make it right. If possible, add some statements about what you plan to do in the future, but only if you plan to seriously follow up. Empty platitudes and apologies will just hurt your brand.
Hold a post-mortem audit of your practices: The above points cover what you need to do externally to protect your brand. The next step is looking inward. What exactly happened to lead to this issue in the first place, and how can you make sure it doesn’t happen again? Here are a few examples of common social media mistakes, and some internal solutions you can put together.
An offensive post comes up: Put together an audit chain so multiple people look at a post idea before it goes public. Different viewpoints may see how something could be interpreted as offensive, where one person may innocently let it go by. You present incorrect information: If you posted a link to a bad source, be sure to look at the most trusted names in your field and only source those. If it’s bad internal data, try and audit your collection measures.
You were hacked: Look at your existing security practices. Who has access to your account passwords? Is two-step verification a standard? If not, you should look into it.
Don’t panic: Finally, we need to iterate and reiterate this point. Even for the largest businesses, social media mistakes can happen. However, panicking and posting a short, poorly-thought-out response just makes things worse. What you should focus on, instead, is putting together a social media crisis plan well before you start populating your pages with content. This way, your entire social media team will have a workflow to follow as soon as something happens. This method takes the emotion out of the solution and helps you work faster.
Whichever approach you take to respond to an error or mistake on social media, speed is essential. The quicker you put out a message on the subject, the faster you can get control of the situation and minimize the damage to your brand’s reputation. Of course, that means having the tools to properly monitor and respond quickly on all social media channels. This is where Cloudsocial can make a difference. Our OmniBox functionality makes it possible to quickly communicate on all social media platforms for your brand.
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