Social media and business do mix well. Most of the time. We believe a solid marketing and content plan that utilizes social media is a ‘must have’ for businesses of any size. But we all know that accidents happen. Mistakes are made and sometimes, customers get angry. The challenge is to handle the situation as effectively as possible to minimize damage and keep things from escalating. Check out our suggestions for how to rise to the challenge of managing your social media mishaps.
Where’s the undo button?!!
Does any of this sound familiar: “I hit publish before I really meant to!” “I was really fired up when I wrote that.” “I was rushing and didn’t check my facts before I got that out.” Yes, it happens to the best of us. First rule to follow as strictly as possible: slow down. It can be tough when you have an overflowing plate of tasks, work and meetings. Recover by posting an honest follow-up that tackles your error head on. Try “I learned a valuable lesson” or “Mad doesn’t always equal smart/right/etc.” Apologize when necessary and never place blame elsewhere. It’s best to show that you are human and professional enough to handle your error gracefully.
Time is not on your side
Whatever error or mistake you make on social media remember that response time is critical. It’s a natural tendency for us to run and hide, or ignore it hoping that the issue will just go away. Nothing could be worse for your business and reputation. Recover by making your follow-up as quickly, thoughtfully and carefully as possible. The same is true when it comes to negative reviews or comments. Responding quickly shows that you are paying attention, that you are concerned, and that you have nothing to hide.
You can’t make everybody happy
And sometimes, when it comes to social media it seems like you can’t make anybody happy. Keep an eye out for negative reviews and comments in places like your blog comments or public sites like Yelp. Again, recover by responding quickly, but be sure that you are thoughtful and careful. You don’t need to add fuel to the fire of an already angry or aggressive commenter. It’s important to remember that not all negative comments are worthy of a response. If a comment is vague, vulgar, or personal, it’s best not to engage them with a response. You may have heard of internet trolls who have nothing better to do than cruise the internet looking for a new place to make a nasty comment or start an argument. They are a sad lot, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
Have you recovered from social media mishaps? How did you handle it? Share your recommendations in the comments below.