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Turning a Social Media “Oops” Around

By Jessica Brown

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This afternoon, I stumbled upon a Mashable article titled, “1 in 4 Young Adults Regret Social Media Posts, Survey Says.” The article discussed that many young adults have, “…posted, a photo, comment or other personal information they fear could compromise their current or future job prospects.”

With social media moving at such a fast pace, it’s easy to post something on the internet without truly thinking about the consequences. But it’s not just individuals who can make a social media “oops.” Businesses can certainly be guilty too.

We all make mistakes

I’ve written previously on how to deal with an unpleasant comment that a customer or page visitor might leave on your page. But what if an employee has a moment of less-than-great judgment and YOU are the one posting something negative? There are plenty of situations where something like this has occurred, such as when Fox New’s Twitter account was hacked and tweets were sent out saying that President Obama had been shot.

Hopefully, nothing malicious or hurtful will ever be put onto your social media sites, but it can be easy for anyone to post to the wrong profile or press enter before they are ready. If it is YOU who makes the mistake of posting something personal to a business site or posting information before you check your facts, keep in mind that there are steps you can take to make the situation better.

Be proactive…

It’s a good rule to have that whether you are posting as yourself or as your business, you should keep content appropriate for the world to see. Bashing other businesses, venting about your workload or gossiping can lead to a lot of trouble! Here are some steps you can take to AVOID post woes:

  • Double check whether you are logged into your personal account or your business account before you post.

  • Keep your audience in mind – could anything you plan to post offend anyone?

  • If someone else is managing your social media accounts, make sure that they are responsible and have an understanding of your business and customers.

… Or be apologetic

If you accidently post something offensive or negative on your social media account, delete the post, but don’t just let it slide! While replying to a negative comment left on your wall and leaving the post UP is good customer service, leaving something offensive on your wall that was posted by YOUR team only leaves room for more people to see.

Post an apology assuring that the situation will not happen again. If a visitor comments on the negative post, apologize to them individually so that they know that you take customer service seriously.

If it is an employee who manages your account, you may want to evaluate their involvement in your social media outreach. While it is true that anyone can make a mistake, it is important to address whether this was a mistake or an intentional act.

Hopefully, you will never have to use any of these tips. But if 1 in 4 young adults are regretting the things they put online, it is bound to happen elsewhere – even for businesses!