Social media is a space of immense opportunity, offering brands space to engage with customers, strengthen brands and reach new markets. It also provides less-positive opportunities, like the opportunity to make social media mistakes, mistakes which can be seen and judged by potentially thousands or even millions of consumers (Pepsi come to mind?). Social media blunders are the stuff of digital marketing nightmares; but with correct precaution, you can react appropriately to minimise damage. Avoiding them, however, is a topic for another day…
Social media marketing is the process of reaching prospects and customers, and acquiring traffic and visibility through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others. By utilizing the social aspect of the web, social media marketing is able to connect and interact on a much more personalized and dynamic level than through traditional marketing.
Fix the problem
Tackle the issue head-on by addressing the problem. In the event that your account was hacked, recover it before securing your login information. Don’t just delete and ignore, but use the opportunity to humanise your brand and demonstrate humility and accountability in your response to the issue.
Take responsibility and act quickly
If you have committed a PR blunder, take responsibility and respond as promptly as possible, before the issue escalates. Clear up any miscommunications, and if you made an error, admit it and if possible, try to rectify it as soon as possible. Respond to users with humility and understanding, and under no circumstances respond with vitriol or personal attacks.
Whether via messaging platforms or directly on your page, respond to user concerns and complaints quickly.
Delete the post
If you’ve posted something that attracted significant negative attention, delete it- social commentary is unlikely to stop if the post remains. Follow up with conciliatory posts that address the issue and be sure to communicate why the post was deleted.
Monitor the issue
Monitor the situation and assess the type of reaction that is needed, whether it be responses to consumer complaints, posts apologising for the mistake or redactions. Set up alerts to monitor the conversations that are happening around your brand online.
Don’t become defensive
Inevitably after a social media blunder, you will receive backlash. Keep your pride in check and don’t become defensive- defensive responses can only inflame the situation and alienate your brand. Make sure that anyone posting or replying on behalf of the brand is equipped to do so, and be sure to check the tone and voice of responses so that it is appropriate.