How to Handle a Social Media Mistake
If your account was hacked…
Although posts made through a hack are not directly your business’s doing, you should still take the necessary steps to absolve the issue. You can do this by securing your accounts, changing passwords and ensuring that no sensitive information was leaked.
In addition to taking these steps, it is important to be transparent with your customers. If the social media hack affects your followers, you should explain the measures you’ve taken to ensure that this will not happen again. More than likely, this will exonerate the situation.
If you posted something offensive…
Many business owners craft social media posts, and then later realize that their content has offended someone. Even if the faux pas wasn’t intentional, you still need to delete the content and apologize to your followers.
Although your first instinct might be to defend your business, your primary focus should be apologizing to anyone that you have upset. Being remorseful for social posts that were insensitive is the only way that you can move forward and make sure that you don’t alienate your network.
If this has happened more than once, you might want to go through social media training. This way, you can learn about corporate social media best practices, and determine how to craft posts that won’t isolate current and potential customers.
If a customer is ranting about your business…
A downside of social media is that it can give unhappy customers a platform to bash your business. Even if the criticism is unwarranted, you should acknowledge the writer’s concerns. Ignoring negative comments or responding in anger will not diffuse the situation. Instead, strive to make the commenter feel heard, and offer ways to resolve the issue.
If the subject is serious, suggest discussing the matter offline. Respond to any comments or reviews, but ask the person to call your business so that you can further discuss the issue privately.
If you posted information that was incorrect or misleading…
Understandably, your followers might be frustrated if you are posting information that is wrong. Whether it is a simple error, like posting an incorrect date or unclear information regarding one of your offers, or something more serious, you need to immediately correct the mistake. Delete any posts with misinformation, so that you do not confuse future followers.
In most cases, social media mistakes of this nature are not difficult to correct, unless you posted false information on purpose, or inaccurate comments related to a serious matter. If that is the case, it is imperative that you take a step back and reflect on how you can work to be honest and transparent in how you interact with customers and run your business.
If you’ve been ignoring your customers…
Do you overlook customers comments? If so, you might face some scrutiny from your followers. To combat this, start making it a priority to respond to your customer’s social media comments. If they are positive remarks, thank them for their loyalty, or even offer them a coupon or reward.
In comparison, if there are criticisms or negative feedback, make sure to still respond and do your best to alleviate the situation. Committing to consistent social media monitoring will ensure that you don’t miss any customers concerns.
Make social media a priority
If you’re guilty of making any of these slip-ups, go through social media training, review best practices and learn from your past blunders. Listen to your customer’s feedback, and use social media to improve your business’s operations. By doing this, you can avoid making fatal social media mistakes!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.