5 Social Media Snafus and How to Avoid Them

Ever worry about making a “social media snafu?” That’s a good thing! Being concerned, alert, and watching what you do on your social media channels is better than posting away blindly and not having a “method to your madness.” Time and time again brands have made mistakes, and I will tell you now, it will happen to most of us. Whether it’s minor like a mistaken Tweet or larger like a contest gone wrong, we all make mistakes. But here are some “snafus” major brands have made (aka they’re human too) and you can learn from and hopefully avoid in the future.

1. Wrong Tweet!

Who hasn’t seen the Red Cross mis-Tweet? It went viral after the mistaken Tweet, but luckily Red Cross handled it well and with grace. The organization assured loyal donors they were indeed “sober” but the cool thing was the Tweets and hashtags used (which continued via Dogfish beer) raised more donations. Who knew showing a little human side could raise more awareness and create more ROI?

Despite this, it is best to keep your personal and professional Tweets separate if possible. For example, on my iphone I have both the Twitter app and the Hootsuite app. Not a fan of those apps? Pick and choose which Twitter apps you prefer for on-the-go. It’s great to do it this way so you can use one for work, and one for your own personal brand. I have definitely made the mistake of Tweeting on the wrong handle, and I find it easiest for me to keep things separate in order to avoid future “snafus” like Red Cross had.

 


2. Who has the keys?

Although the “younger” folks know how to use social media because they’ve been thrown into it at an earlier age…does that mean they know how to utilize it properly for business initiatives, strategies, and endeavors? Hopefully when making hiring decisions and “handing over keys” companies will not just hire on experience of use, but experience of business strategy and implementation. Unfortunately for Vodafone, they realized that after the fact. They had a junior employee handling their community and the young gentlemen foolishly posted a homophobic comment on the brand’s Twitter page. Immature? Yes. Inexperienced? Most definitely.

Hand over the keys with care, folks — it’s just your brand’s reputation on the line.

 

 

Ever worry about making a “social media snafu?” That’s a good thing! Being concerned, alert, and watching what you do on your social media channels is better than posting away blindly and not having a “method to your madness.” Time and time again brands have made mistakes, and I will tell you now, it will happen to most of us. Whether it’s minor like a mistaken Tweet or larger like a contest gone wrong, we all make mistakes. But here are some “snafus” major brands have made (aka they’re human too) and you can learn from and hopefully avoid in the future.

3. Customer Service?!

Ever had a customer service rep fall asleep while making a house call? This person sure did! And unfortunately for this guy, everyone else has shared in his “nap” too.

Comcast realized this type of customer service is intolerable. They ramped up their Twitter Customer service efforts and has since become an industry leader inTwitter Customer Service help. Thus, it is possible to turn things around…and it is imperative to do so as soon as possible! Customer service is key for many brands, and without it consumers loyalty may be MIA. Using Twitter like Comcast does for instant and real-time customer service for their consumers is definitely a great way to go about it.

4. Video gone wrong!

Motrin had a promotional video where a woman described how wearing a baby sling is great to bond with her child, it can also cause the mother great pain. This video was controversial with the target market of this promotion. The video quickly went viral…isn’t that great? Not so much when mothers all around are vehemently protesting said video. There were blog posts, Tweets, Facebook updates and more regarding the offensive campaign. Yikes! Motrin shut down the video and apologized, but the video was still out there and had been seen by many.

 

Lesson? When focusing on a particular target market and using media that is instant online such as videos, strategize and make sure it truly caters towards that target market. Not all campaigns work, and there will be backlash on many occasions, as consumers all have a voice via social media. It’s the risk brands take in a market where most content is consumer generated. But, it can also be just as rewarding. So brands – strategize carefully and realize what your market wants before you release it.

5. Where’s your target market?

Speaking of target markets…where are they online? Facebook? Twitter? Blogs? It is key for brands to figure out where their target market is. And although it’s good to be present on all the main sites, it’s more important to have a “home base” and focus on where your consumers are listening and engaging the most. Target made the mistake of not doing such. They ignored a blogger, saying their consumers don’t read blogs. Tsk! Tsk! Was there market research to back this up? Even so, you don’t ignore potential and current consumers and definitely not bloggers who could and should be used for brand promotion campaigns. Old school views are not going to work when the main stream market is consuming most information via new media. In short, find your market online, listen, engage, and monitor.

 

In the end, mistakes will happen. But be graceful, be honest, and be human. Brands are not impervious to mistakes and we have seen that above. Consumers want to see and embrace the human side of brands, so let them. Just minimize the mistakes if you can via an exceptional social media management team.

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

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