With great power comes great responsibility, a saying which is very apt when it comes to social media. Facebook, Twitter and the ever-growing list of popular channels have swiftly moved on from individual users to become a free, widespread tool to connect with consumers. Get it right, and your profits will see a huge increase. If you get it wrong, your reputation could crumble before you. However, contrary to popular belief, a social media disaster doesn’t need to spell the end for your business. It is possible to bounce back, and below you’ll find some life-saving advice, should you ever need it.
How bad is the damage?
Like earthquakes, there’s a scale of impact when it comes to social media disasters. A silly typo, while enough to generate some sort of reaction online, is not as bad as an ill-timed comment or outright offensive post. If an incorrect post is down to human error, such as a well-meaning employee confusing their personal account with the business’, this can usually be rectified by explaining the situation. Plenty of people have been there before, and they will understand. Larger errors in judgement, however, will require some more careful thought to put right.
Avoid knee-jerk reactions
Social media is an immediate and ongoing phenomenon. While you might think that a quick reaction is the best course of action, thinking carefully and taking your time to create the right response will have a better pay off. 2017 has already witnessed some spectacular social media fails, and you can learn a lot by seeing how different organisations dealt with the aftermath. By reacting too quickly, you could end up making the situation worse, sending your mistake viral for all the wrong reasons. Get your best thinkers together and decide how to put the situation right.
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to a social media disaster. If you were hacked (a situation that is easy to recover from), then say so, but don’t lie about it if that wasn’t the case. People will respect and appreciate your honesty, and there’s a lot to be said about businesses that own up to their mistakes. If it’s appropriate, make light of it, but in many cases, a straightforward apology will do the trick.
Protect yourself from damage
A potential PR disaster should be enough to alert you to the need for better social media policies for your business to prevent them happening again. Making sure that everyone responsible for your social media adheres to these guidelines and putting checks in place will help add that extra level of security and could protect your business in the future. It also makes sense to ensure that you’ve got legal protection on your side in case things take a more formal turn. When checking business insurance quotes online, assess whether their policies will cover you against these issues to give you and your colleagues peace of mind. The cost and resource involved in putting safeguards in place will seem like a small price to pay versus the financial and reputational cost involved in putting out PR fires.
Helping your business to succeed through social media requires determination and plenty of common sense. Learning the fundamentals will put you in a better position to avoid making a wrong move and keeping your business’ reputation intact. Bookmark this page as a handy point of reference should a social media disaster strike your business.