This week on Taking Care of Business we are discussing Social Media: What You Really Need to Know.
While preparing for the discussion we reflected on some serious social media blunders by businesses and organizations, mid to large in size. It seems that far too often mistakes are made when a staff member or marketing employee mixes up their personal profile with the business profile while they are posting to Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We are not going to name names here, but we are all seeing the flow of apologies going out to the public and even to the President of the United States, and the tail between the legs looks like this, “we are deeply sorry for the unauthorized tweet that was mistakenly posted in our feed… ” you get the idea. This is a common problem and a serious nightmare for social media managers and brands alike. One remedy is to take Mother’s advice.
Like Mother always says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Another remedy is to quickly post the apology directly and publicly to all parties offended, I also really like the use of the term unauthorized post. It is important to remember that social media is not just broadcasting. It is a conversation! It is constantly changing, transforming, organic and dynamic. You need a team to carry on the conversation not just robot -publishing. Try to be human on social media, have your team try to BE HUMAN and to nurture opportunities to converse in real life too.
That leads up to the second category of blunders……posts and tweets made without awareness to the current trending topics and immediate circumstances of sensitive matters like disasters, shootings, wars and other situations. This was a major issue on social platforms during Storm Sandy. Large companies regrettably tweeted (no names mentioned here) about shopping on line since the storm has closed the malls… meanwhile homes are underwater, neighborhoods are burning down and total devastation is happening. We can not over- emphasize the importance of being aware, sensitive and current.
Check your privacy settings & clean up your digital footprint, yikes!
Some of the most out of control happenings have revolved around #hashtags. Companies/Brands frequently use #hashtags on Twitter and Google+ to start a conversation and to build their audience or community. It is when the public takes control of the messaging in an unplanned and unflattering way that it will cause a social media nightmare. Most notably, (for example) McDonald’s started #McDStories and people took over with tweets about how horrible the food is, I am sure you can just imagine the type of tweets that were flying. Another Facebook post included a bad review of a dessert eaten at a fancy restaurant & the chef fired back with some now infamous foul language, really foul language -and the rest is history. We will be chatting more during the show and afterwards we can carry on the conversation via twitter at #FYIOutsource.
→ Tip: Social Media passwords getting unmanagable? Use a program like 1Password to manage your accounts.