Avoiding social media disasters is getting harder and harder to do especially for the big brands. With so many people voicing their experiences and opinions it is important to know how to react, what is the right course of action and most importantly if you can get ahead of the entire situation and do some damage control if need be. Here are some great ways to avoid a social media campaign disaster or at least contain it and not let it get a life of its own.
Be in the loop
When you launch a media campaign you need to be aware of what is happening at all times. How well it is received across various media outlets how are the customers reacting to it on social media, and if you are getting the feedback you have anticipated. It is important to know exactly which parameters to focus on. For example, a New Zealand based company would want to opt for a media portal for New Zealand, which means getting a platform to help them monitor the success of their campaign, from trending online news to social media and forums, that way they can stay ahead of any potential problem that might occur during the campaign, and fix all the glitches in real time.
Hire top talent to run your social media platforms
This is an absolute must. Having experienced people who know the landscape and your brand run your social media can make all the difference. They will know how to interact with customers, deal with trolls and promote the campaign. Saying the wrong thing on a social media platform or responding poorly to complaints can cost your company a lot of customers. So that is why investing in top talent in this area is quite necessary. Even big companies like McDonald’s, have silly missteps caused by not triple-checking their content before publishing it on social media.
Be aware what you are putting out there
Even if you hire top talent to run your social media you still need to be aware of what is happening. They need to get acquainted with where your company stands on certain delicate issues and it is imperative that they try and maintain the company’s image throughout the marketing campaign and afterwards. So it is important to stay within the values that define your company and stay away from fired up discussions on issues unrelated to the brand or the marketing campaign. You can always state which issues you do not want your brand to comment on, and make sure your employees follow the guidelines so that your brand doesn’t end up in an unnecessary Twitter feud or something like that.
Know when to say sorry
This might be the most important piece of advice. If something goes wrong, and let’s face it might, it is always better to issue a public apology and own up to the situation and not actually avoid the topic. Ignoring it or denying it usually ends in serious social media backlash that ends up in alienation of your customer base. And when your reputation is dragged through the social media dirt it is hard to bounce back, that is why it is important to get ahead of it, cut the whole thing short by issuing a formal apology and taking other relevant actions to minimize the issue. This should be followed by a grand gesture of sorts so that you can actually get positive press and comments as soon as possible leaving the negative incident in the social media past. Just be careful, it might resurface several years later like what just recently happened with director James Gunn, a 10-year-old bad taste twitter joke cost him his job.
Mind the timing
It is very important that you time your post appropriately. It is not just about what you post but also when you post it. In case you opt for automated posting where you prepare everything and just let it run its course it would be good to add a human factor just to check that your company’s social media profiles don’t post the wrong thing at the worst possible time. And with everything happening in the world it is not impossible that your posts might coincide with a major tragic event and thus be deem inconsiderate. So yet again human factor plays a major role in the entire process.
So now you have the tools to avoid a social media campaign disaster. All that is left is to prepare high quality content, do current marketing research and adjust all the parameters to get the best possible results. And if you are careful about everything that has been mentioned above you might have a social media crisis on your hands sooner than expected.