The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Social Media Mistakes Happen: You Can Learn from a Social Media Marketing Crisis

To err is human.  Acknowledging, apologizing, and correcting that error is smart business.  Social Media’s Disaster Recovery: A First Responders Guide written by Serdar Yegulalp addressed the when–not if–prospect of social media (SM) errors and recovery.  It is vital to accept that there will be mistakes.

It is crucial to understand what to do when one occurs and that includes having a plan. 

People generally like to hear other people say: “I made a mistake, I am sorry, and here is what I am going to do to fix it…”  This holds true within the corporate world as well.  Customers will be far more likely to forgive a Social Media blunder if the organization takes responsibility.  Yegulalp’s article addressed the idea that companies need to acknowledge when they make a Social Media mistake quickly.  Also, a Twitter response is not long enough to be clear and concise.  The first reply should be quick and does not have to be too detailed, but if too much time passes, the gaffe can go viral with Social Media.

Follow up is important too.

Consumers also like to see other people learning from their mistakes.  Social Media marketing gives companies an opportunity to address consumer complaints and feedback in a quick manner.  Social Media First Responders must be ready and willing to admit and then learn from the mistake.  Consumers are watching.  The article by Yegulalp emphasized that tone matters—sincerity comes across and people can relate to another trying to make things better this time around.

Hiding from the gaffe is not only a poor plan—it will backfire with Social Media.

Finally, Yegulalp points to the idea of training for SM first responders.  Have a team assembled that really gets SM so that when things go wrong—and they will—there are already people in place to quickly respond before the situation gets out of control.  SM is a powerful tool.  Companies ignore it at their own peril.  Also, people will remember the response to a SM gaffe far more than the original mistake.  Businesses would do well to remember that their quick and sincere response to an ill-advised tweet can also go viral.

What have you learned from a Social Media mistake?

Category: Social Media Marketing 101