5 tips to avoid social media blunders

June 1, 2012
in Office Technology

by Kimberly Deas

As social media’s popularity grows, so do the blunders. Take for example, Ragu’s Twitter marketing campaign in assuming that women do the cooking, or Net­­flix’s disastrous mistake in not claiming the Twit­­ter handle for their new brand, Qwikster.   

One wrong move and you might find yourself in hot water with your online community. To prevent blunders, use the following 5 tips:

1. Listen to your community. Deleting comments on Facebook has been seen as a “sin” in social media. Instead of deleting, respond with a thoughtful and considerate answer.

2. Time your communication. Review what is happening within your company before launching a campaign. Is the timing right or will this add fuel to an already burning fire?

3. Stop guessing, start asking.  Many companies have learned the hard way that their customers do not like their new programs, evidenced by on­­line complaints fueled by social media. Instead of guessing whether your new program/product will be approved, just ask. Social media allows you to connect with your audience.

4. Acknowledge your mistakes. Mistakes will happen. Just apologize and acknowledge your mistake to avoid a flurry of social media slams. Avoiding discussing the mistake might be the worst mistake of all.

5. Be sensitive.  Our communities are real people with feelings. Telling jokes about tsunamis or shooting elephants may create outrage in your community and damage your brand. Remember, social media is about talking with real people.


Kimberly Deas combines her 10+ years’ experience in telecommunications with a background in personal coaching and results-oriented training.

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