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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!


Professional SEO services said...

Interesting post; I think that you made some great points. Keep it up!

Ezra said...

I like the way you described every single stage social acceptance in a psychological way.

Social Media really changed the way people have to stay on their guard, especially companies.
One awkward mistake and everybody will notice.

Companies also tend to use your social media pages to see who you really are. You can use that to your advantage, but it can also work against you...

Maria said...

Great Post! I really enjoyed reading your post and your strog points that you brought out. Keep up the good work.

alternative investments said...

Very interesting post. I think people do not realize quite how much we are living in a new media age. It used to be that companies just had to worry about e-mails, but at least there, the damage could be contained somewhat. With social media, the more followers you have the worse the damage. Even major sports figures can put out a tweet and next thing they know it is dominating media coverage for several days. And younger kids also do not seem to realize that when you apply for a job, a company may well research your background online, and lord help you if you have a facebook page filled with numerous inappropriate pictures. Its really a new age we are living in.

Daniel Milstein said...

That is true. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said, "The new year has been here a little over a week, and already we have seen some major social media fails". I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you're talking about. Can't wait to read more from you!

Jim-website said...

Thank for sharing the myst of social media.

Sudbury Internet Marketing said...

This is the same type of advice that anyone who blunders publicly needs to do, including politicians :)

Considering that viral activity on social networks often times runs at the speed of light, the faster one can catch themselves and do the steps you recommend, the better off they'll be.

The public record of apology will be visible to all that visit the offender's page/site/etc...

Hopefully the offended individual/company is rational enough to accept the error and forgive. Those that aren't a likely to go off on a rampage and try to ruin the offender through other social means.

Great article, bookmarked and will blog about it myself someday!

Mike Robinson said...

A lot of this seems to be about self-awareness and social media exposing those who lack it. Really interesting post - thank you!

Internet Marketing New York said...

Good advice. This could potentially happen to any business if you're not careful. At least there are ways to recover. It's important to research hashtags on twitter before you use them for marketing, so that you don't offend anyone.

strongmandigital said...

It feel nice to read such a fab article ..its helps a lot.
Social Media Expert

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