1. It’s always a good idea to respond quickly and sincerely. Even humorously, if you can manage it. If you’ve read about the Red Cross story, you know that response is where they really shined. Their error became a case study for handling social media faux pas instead of a blight on the brand’s reputation. Kenneth Cole, on the other hand, responded to his ridiculously offensive tweet with another that was almost defensive in tone, making an already bad situation even worse.
2. This is when the community relationships you’ve built pay off. Despite initial panic, deep down your fans would forgive a bit of human error. After all, our fans know there is a real person behind the page. And although I post on behalf of the company, I occasionally post in the first person (or rarely, from my personal account). Our fans know me. And so when I do mess up, I can say things like, “Sorry guys, I made a mistake.” And their reaction is “No big deal,” rather than “Ooh, Big Untouchable Brand just screwed up!”
3. It’s okay to erase your mistake. As a community manager I feel very strongly about maintaining transparency. I don’t believe in erasing posts from the community unless they explicitly violate the rules of engagement. But sometimes you need to press delete. Obviously leaving the photo on our Facebook page would just cause more confusion and embarrassment over time. Even worse is failing to delete something that has offended your fans, because leaving it in cyberspace implies that you stand behind it. Which brings us back to Kenneth Cole, who left his offensive tweet and non-apology up for several hours before finally removing it and issuing a real apology. Too little, too late.
4. Finally, the no-brainer, if you’re a Facebook Page admin, stop and think before posting photos from your phone. I wish I could say I trashed the Facebook iPhone app after this whole debacle, but I didn’t. The truth is, I use it pretty frequently. But I’m going to be a heck of a lot more careful with it in the future.
If you are looking for complete marketing solutions ideas or IT contracting Melbourne, contact us for a FREE no obligation quote.