Wednesday 30 April, 2014

3 Common Social Media Disasters and How to Handle Them

Social media is great for keeping in touch with your customer base, but there are some disastrous things that can happen. This is why companies that use social media (okay, that’s pretty much everybody) have to continually monitor and manage their profiles. Most companies put somebody in charge of this because it can be a 24/7 job. Here are three of the biggest and most common disasters that strike and what you can do about them.

A Nasty Customer Complaint

Your social media profile gives voice to your customers. That’s great when they’re blabbing on your Facebook wall about how great your products and services are. But when they’re not so kind, it can become a catastrophe quickly.

Whether you’ve got somebody who doesn’t understand your business or is just plain nasty, the key is to respond quickly. Get your reply posted before too many people have a chance to read the original post. Address their question, problem or concern, and either ask for more info to clarify or offer them a solution.

Whatever you do, DON’T respond negatively. Even if the post is downright insulting, never get defensive or be nasty back to them. And never delete negative comments unless they’re spamming or trolling.

Your Social Media Guy/Gal Is a Loose Cannon

As I said, most companies designate an employee to handle social media for them. What if you’ve chosen the wrong guy or gal? There have been highly publicized cases in the last few years where the social media person said something they shouldn’t have. They might be spouting off about personal things, politics, religion, or some other inappropriate topic.

It’s important for your social media manager to understand that they’re the voice of the company. What they tweet or post needs to reflect the company’s opinion and not their own. They need to be on the same page as you.

Keeping Your Privates Private

There are sometimes cases where what was meant to be a private message was posted publicly. This is really embarrassing and there’s not much you can do about it. Depending on the nature of the message, it can do lots of damage.

The best thing to do here is to wait and see the response. If it’s something that’s just irrelevant, there’s a good chance people will ignore it. However, if your customers start responding or replying (in other words, finding humor in it!), you need to respond. The best way to do this is to say something humorous and let it slide like water off a duck’s back. Everybody has already read it and the damage is done, so you might as well have a laugh and show your company’s sense of humor.

The biggest disaster of all is that your social media manager leaves the company along with their administrative access. Make sure that all of your social media profiles have multiple admins so that you don’t lose your profile when you lose them.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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