Damage Control – What Not to Do When Social Media Goes Wrong

0 comments, 01/12/2012, by , in General

In the process of building up a social media empire, you are bound to make a gaffe or two. A simple mistake in how something is written or an emotional impulse can lead to disastrous consequences for your brand, website and product – depending on how you handle it. What may have been a simple slip-up has now turned into a catastrophe for public relations. How on earth can you smooth this all over and repair any damage done? We have compiled several tips that you must adhere to in the midst of a social networking bombshell that will help get your brand through this ordeal.

Being Emotional

Whenever you make a mistake online, the entire world can witness it. Because of this, you not only have to worry about the gaffe that sparked controversy but also the way in which you handle the aftermath. If you lash out or go into an emotional tirade over how people are responding, you are guaranteed to make the situation worse. You won’t have to worry about pinging backlinks because people from all over the world will be sharing your meltdown with others. Be nice, cordial and apologize for the mishap. When people use social media to lash out at those lashing out at them, it never ends well.

Ignoring Comments

You can use this opportunity as a chance to connect with people that you might not have otherwise. By being attentive, responsive and owning up to the mistake, you can demonstrate the values and virtues of your social media organization. Those who hide behind the veil of the internet may realize that countless new discoverers of your enterprise will use this as an opportunity to degrade and humiliate you. If you engage them right from the start, you have a better chance of diffusing the situation and preventing your already-viral mishap from getting any larger.

Arguing With Others

While you do not wish to ignore those negative comments, you also want to avoid responding with negativity. You may believe that your mistake was simply a mistake and that by apologizing, everything will be fine. The truth is that some people cannot be pleased no matter what you do – in this case, you do not need to argue with them over the initial intent or meaning. Even if you are right, you will never convince everyone of that. By being polite, you stand to gain much more ground than you do if you come swinging out of your corner.

Navigating The Situation

You have to realize that once a social mishap has occurred and the mistake is out there, you will have very little control over its spread. You can look at this as an opportunity – others who are pinging backlinks to your site and social media will increase your exposure in the long-run. Most of the discussion and framing of the argument will be done by those who are either on your side or against you. Be courteous, follow up with polite comments as best you can and keep a cool head above all else. This too shall pass.

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