Monday, June 29, 2015

When to apologize on social media for offline issue



Over this week a business posted an apology on their Facebook page for an event that happened offline. Since I was not at the event I was unaware of it until the apology, which led to quite a few comments of both supporters and those upset at the situation. That put a question in my mind. If they hadn't posted publicly, would anyone be really talking about it, or did it help the situation to put out a general apology to everyone?

I don't really have the answer to that but am curious what you think or if you have dealt with a situation like that? Did you post online about an offline error? How did people take it?

In general though, to handle an online apology, I recommend a few tips:

1. Don't rush to apologize.
Do the research first. Who did you upset and how? What is the best possible approach to apologizing before you start typing away furiously? Do you even need to apologize or let it go?

2. Rough draft it.
Write out the apology, perhaps even offline and read it first. Maybe have others read it. Does it come across as sincere? Have you removed any passive aggressive language if still upset with anyone? Does it convey the best possible version of your business? Is it sincere?

3. Don't just apologize, remedy.
A simple "sorry" doesn't really cut it today. People use social media partially as a way to work with brands to handle complaints. So, beyond the sincere apology, let people know what steps you are making to handle the situation.

4. Handle comments with class.
Despite your great efforts and despite your sincerity, this is the Internet and people will hurl angry comments at you. Rise above it. Thank them for their concerns, let them know how you will remedy any issues, and don't get into a troll fight.