There are many examples of social media infractions by companies, but the good news is that these types of experiences force marketers and senior executives to take notice and become more responsible about social media. In an earlier post I shared tips on how organizations can respond to criticism on social media.
While examples provide a good baseline of what "not to do," they also help you take a step back and explore the different types of social media mistakes you should avoid. Here are a list of top social screw-ups and what you can do to avoid them:
Mistake #1: Lacking a Presence
Not having a social media presence could be considered slander in today's digital marketing world. Social media gives your brand the opportunity to have a voice that reaches a wider and diverse audience. Solution: Learn to let your hair down, be open, insightful and deliver to your targeted demographic. Also take some time to listen to what others are saying about you - this will help you understand the general sentiment and deliver content accordingly.
Mistake #2: Poor Customer Service
Sub-par customer service and poor-performing products have no place in today's social landscape. Consumers are quick to share their dissatisfaction, whether it's Twitter, Facebook or any other social platform. Solution: Listening will help you capture negative experiences customers are sharing. As an organization you need to set certain expectations and make it right with the customer.
Mistake #3: Poor Responses
Whether it's taking too long to respond or offering oblivious responses to consumers - these are all reflective of your brand. Many companies are past due in realizing that anyone using a corporate account speaks as the voice of the company across social media. Solution: Offer organizational social media training that is compliant with social protocol and will also help mitigate embarrassment for your brand.
Mistake #4: One-Time Fiascos
The reality is that mistakes happen (although one could argue that some are more obvious than others). Some mistakes even originate outside of social media, but the new digital landscape offers consumers an opportunity to relay their opinions and responses quickly. Solution: Create a social media disaster plan. The worse possible response you can have to a social media mistake, is no response at all. You need to show consumers that you care. This means developing a plan to get out a message, apologizing and participating in the discussion.
Are there are other mistakes/solutions that you've come across? Share them in the comments below!