Monday, April 13, 2015

Recovering from a social media snafu

Courtesy of bushmarketing.ca
You were a bit tipsy and took to Facebook last night. Or, in the heat of an argument with a customer, you said some things on Twitter you regret. We all make these mistakes. But our brands are the ones that can suffer if we don't try to right our wrongs. Here are some ideas on just how to do that:

1. Apologize. A sincere apology to your fans can go a long way. Be sure to craft the message off line and read it out loud, perhaps even let others hear it, before you make the post. Be as open and honest as you can without dredging up too much negativity from the incident.

2. Did it have major impact on your store? Consider issuing a press release to generate some positive buzz or hire a publicist if the mistake is at the level that it can shut down your pizzeria.

3. Delete the bad post? That is tricky. On one hand, deleting or censoring yourself is not necessarily a bad idea, but if you just try to sweep it under the rug by deleting it and not saying anything, that won't work. First off, there are screenshots and so your post is not as "deleted" as you think. Second, not addressing the issue is a mistake and a disservice to your customers.

4. Did your bad choice make headlines? Over at Forbes, they recommend not clicking on the online stories as that tells your search engines that the results are relevant. Clever idea. Read more about it here. 

5. Make real change off line too. Perhaps the social media post was a heated argument over defending a customer's bad experience. Take it offline as soon as you can after apologizing and fix the issue. Offer the customer a free meal to give you another chance, or listen closely to what they were saying. Maybe they spoke up and others haven't but it can be something you can fix in the store and improve customer experiences.