Social media has become an integral part of every business plan. In fact, businesses that aren’t using social media platforms can expect to fail due to lacking online visibility and customer loyalty. However, using social media isn’t always blissful. One wrong Post or Tweet can ruin your brand in a matter of seconds. In the last year alone, large companies such as United Airlines and Chrysler have taken a beating because of poor social media management.
Disgruntled employees and angry customers can quickly take their thoughts to the web which can tarnish your brand for life. But a social media disaster doesn’t mean you should shut your doors for good. In fact, even those who have suffered from a disaster are still able to recover.
A few quick tips to help you recover from a social media disaster should one occur include:
1. Do Not Panic
Panicking won’t make your social media disaster go away, it won’t make your Fans love you again, and it won’t return your brand back to spotless. All panicking will do is keep you from reacting appropriately and in a timely manner. Don’t let your fear and emotions govern you. After committing a social media disaster, you must, at all costs, remain calm.
2. Accept What You Have Done
Whether you posted some choice words on Facebook or Twitter or submitted an inappropriate video to YouTube or Givit, there is no turning back after you hit post or submit. The inappropriate content you just created forever belongs to the web. Sure, you can delete your comment or post, and you should, but there is no way to completely remove it from the web. Instead, accept what you have done so that you can continue to move forward and begin the recovery process.
3. Figure Out Who You Have Offended
Don’t just start making blind apologies. A half-hearted apology will be felt by your Fans and Followers, and they will quickly reject it and probably attack you more for it. Instead, figure out exactly who you have offended and why. This will make your apologies more thoughtful and thorough, and therefore more likely to placate those you offended.
4. Start Apologizing
Once you have figured out who you have offended, you need to begin apologizing politely and profusely. This is an okay time for you to almost seem as though you are graveling because, in reality, your business’ reputation and longevity is in the hands of those you have hurt. Try to do what you can within your means to appease those you have offended, just make sure that you don’t further insult them with a shallow apology or promise of a kitschy product.
5. Be Ready to Endure the Long Road Ahead
Recovering from a social media disaster is never a quick process. As much as we would like to believe that people quickly forgive and forget, that isn’t exactly the case. In order to restore your brand, you will have to regain the trust of your customers which may take some time. After you have apologized, learn from your mistakes and continue running business as usual. It will take some time, but business should become stable once again.
A social media disaster doesn’t need to mean the end of business. In fact, several companies have been able to recover and actually profit from their social media failures. Simply take the time to act quickly and thoroughly apologize, and you should be on the way to a successful recovery.