We’ve all done it. In a rush to be timely and relevant, we rush to send off a status update or a quick response to something someone said, and as soon as you hit send, you cringe as you notice the typos, grammatical errors or the poor choice of words that may come off as ignorant and rude. By the time you fix the mistake or delete your post, it’s too late. And the internet is forever, and unforgiving.
We’ve all seen our favorite celebrities and politicians make the same cringeworthy and damaging mistakes, and the old “blame it on the intern” just isn’t good enough. Sure, the intern may be responsible, but you hired the intern, and you failed to manage that intern, so in the end, the fault lies with you. And, even if you can point fingers and place blame, the damage is done, and you’re now stuck trying to offset the negative effects and save your brand. Your first mistake is probably hiring an intern who is inexperienced and underpaid. So, if you’re staffing out your social media, hire a “social media manager” you trust.
Staffing out your social media is not only common but smart and efficient. If you’re the boss, you don’t have time to sit and perfect every single tweet or Facebook update. You just want to dictate a few ideas, send them off and have someone clean up your message and send it out on various social media platforms.
But, when you ask someone to speak for you, you better make sure that this is a person that you trust. Not properly supervising your social media account managers can lead to embarrassment and inconsistency with your messaging and your branding. As a startup, these are two mistakes you can’t afford to make. Your first impression is everything, and giving an inexperienced or unsupervised person free reign with your social media will only get you in trouble.
Not only do you have to keep your social media manager on message and consistent with your brand, but once you gain the ear of your clients, and people start writing back, you have to monitor carefully the way that you are responding. Hopefully, loyal customers will respond positively to your posts, but you can’t please everybody. If you’re going to take the positive responses seriously, then you have to treat the negative comments with the same grace. How you handle and respond to complaints, or negative feedback can make or break your brand.
Social Media Faux Pas That Are Ruining Your Brand Ignoring or deleting negative comments is the “out of sight, out of mind” response. But, you could be missing a golden opportunity to defend yourself and your brand with dignity, not defensiveness. If you delete or ignore, you are also losing out on an opportunity to win back the dissatisfied customer by responding honestly and thoughtfully. Negative comments are an opportunity for you to show off and prove your commitment to great customer service to the rest of your clients.
Social media is an invaluable marketing tool for entrepreneurs, but you have to be smart, be aware, be consistent and don’t spread yourself too thin over too many outlets. When it comes to social media, quality always wins over quantity.