Social media marketing is a constant race to get ahead. It’s common to inadvertently push the envelope too far. However, in this day and age, mistakes on social media can be screenshotted, shared, and immortalized to live forever on the internet. So, how do you get over something like that? Here are 6 tips on how to recover from a social media disaster.
1. Come to terms with what happened
Mistakes will happen. As bad as they may seem in the moment, social media disasters rarely ruin companies. If you put in the work and are sincere in your efforts, recovery is possible.
Customers sometimes have unrealistic expectations. You may find yourself in an impossible situation if you try to meet every single demand. To recover from a social media disaster, first, realize that you can’t make everyone happy. Therefore, slow down and reassess your goals. Don’t panic and try to patch things up with no plan in place. In these situations, it’s often helpful to go back to your company’s mission and vision statement to use those as guiding principles. What are your company values, and what did you initially set out to achieve? Start from the basics and work your way up. The path you take will be a lot clearer.
2. Own up to your mistakes
When a social media disaster occurs, we often see companies make things even worse by arguing or hiding comments. If you face bad PR, it won’t help the situation to try to silence the negativity. Additionally, there’s no point in ignoring it either. Some brands like to pretend nothing happened and continue with business as usual. This approach will leave your customers angry because you offered them no sense of resolution.
Turn your social media fiasco into something positive. Don’t try to spin the situation with lies because that never ends well. Instead, use it as a learning experience. Make a public statement on how you will rework your internal policies to ensure that something like that doesn’t happen again. Respond to comments constructively and helpfully. People love to see a redemption story, so why not give them one?
3. Hire a community manager
Hire a real person to manage your social media accounts. People won’t see your social media accounts as a faceless and uncaring company if they know there is a real person behind the account. Go a step further and outsource your digital marketing entirely. Have professionals handle your accounts and craft content for you. This gives you time to focus on what you do best: run your day-to-day business operations.
4. Streamline communication and monitor results
Depending on the size of your company, even a community manager may have a hard time keeping up with all the traffic your social media accounts generate. Thankfully, there are social media plugins that can help you stay on top of everything. Through these plugins, you can monitor the comments and reviews your users are posting and respond to as many as you can. Keep track of the feedback you get. Additionally, show your customers you hear what they’re saying. Make sure that they realize you are willing to act on and improve upon a mistake.
5. Stop the current marketing and ads campaigns
Automation is a growing trend on social media. Nowadays, you can automate pretty much anything. There really isn’t a need for you to manually publish every post and ad you plan to run. You can schedule them in advance so content is automatically posted. For the most part, that’s great since you can just plan out your entire content calendar or campaign, then let it roll out on its own. However, posting a cheerful ad in the middle of a chaotic situation won’t help you recover from a social media disaster. That can seem distasteful and out of context and will only make things worse. Since you’re already doing damage control, make sure to pause scheduled posts and temporarily halt most of your current marketing. Unfortunately, most of those ads will probably need to be reworked in light of the new situation.
6. Create future policies
After you get the social media debacle at least somewhat under control, take a moment to reassess the situation. Try to determine what you learned from the whole ordeal. Think about what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Do your best to get to the root of the issue and see what caused the problems in the first place. Most issues on social media come from an employee posting something inappropriate.
Take some time to create policies that will prevent the same situation, so you don’t have to recover from a social media disaster again. People are prone to forgive you once, but fool them twice, and you may lose even your most loyal customers. Educate and train your employees on how to prevent disasters from happening. Set clear guidelines on what to do in case of a future emergency. Create documentation for them to follow and a step-by-step guide. Planning and prevention are much better than treating the damage caused by bad PR.
The bottom line
As you can see from these tips on how to recover from a social media disaster, treat your followers on social media like any other relationship. When you make a mistake and cause a blunder, give a heartfelt apology and make sure it doesn’t happen again.