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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The new year has been here a little over a week, and already we have seen some major social media fails. Pappa John's is currently on the chopping block for an inappropriate comment written on a receipt that later went viral on Twitter, and several large companies including Chrysler, Kenneth Cole, and Domino's all had grand fails in 2011.

And there is no doubt that there will be countless more social media fails by other companies before the year is up. However, while the social media failure may be inevitable for both companies large and small, that doesn't mean that they have to be the end of the line for reputable brands. We all slip up from time to time, your attempt at recovery can be the determinate between whether or not your public will forgive and forget or will crust your business. So if you find yourself with a social media failure on your hands, try to adhere to the following steps to achieve the best recovery possible:

Remain Calm 
Once you click submit, there isn't much that you can do to remove it forever from the internet. So if you find yourself staring at an inappropriate post or Tweet, stay calm. Panicking in this situation will not help you in anyway shape or form.

Acknowledge What You Have Done
One you have realized that you have committed a social media fail, you need to take the time to actually realize and consider what you have done. Have you made an inappropriate comment regarding an event or have you made a derogatory Tweet aimed at a certain group of people? Either way, you need to figure out just what type of social media disaster you have created so you can...

Realize Who You've Offended
Never start blindly apologizing, and certainly don't hand out gimmicks as an apology.  Keep the personalized pens 
for marketing, not apologizing. You always need to figure out what you have done and who you have apologized first. So after you have acknowledged just what you have done, you need to figure out exactly what group or groups of people you have offended.

Start Apologizing
Once you know who you have offended and how you have offended them, it is time to start apologizing, and you want to do so in a very polite and timely manner. Make sure the you come across as sincere, offer time so that those offended can offer insight, and then do anything possible to remedy the situation.

Prepare for the Long Haul
Your battle doesn't end simply because you have apologized. Depending on the severity of your social media mishap, your business could see effects linger for months. If you want to experience a complete recovery, however, you need to expect the going to be slow at first. You most likely lost the trust of your customers and they are going to want to see that you can conduct business as usual before giving you their patronage again.

A social media mishap can definitely be devastating, but it doesn't have to be the end. If you find yourself in the midst of one, simply keep calm and begin the recovery process as quickest as possible to reduce damage.

Today's guest post provided by Jenna Smith.  Jenna is a Saint Louis resident who seeks to travel the world while producing compelling content for the masses. When she isn't writing, you can find Jenna with her nose in a book, or her headphones on to block out the rest of the world.  Thanks for your contribution to the marketing blog Jenna!


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