5 Tips to Prevent a Social Media Nightmare


You’re shaking, sweating, and have a pit in the bottom of your stomach. You’re not watching a Halloween horror flick. You’re looking at a social media account you manage. Social media people face a lot of potential bumps in the night, and we see brands make mistakes all the time. But what happens if it is you? No need to fear! Here are five common prevention for social media nightmares if they occur.

1. Be Prepared. It’s easy to go into panic mode if your brand is suddenly flooded with negative social media coverage. Not all companies have the resources to secure a team solely responsible for crisis management. If you fall into this category, ensure each individual on the team is aware of their duties should something occur. Having an agile team of people who are ready to react in an instant will ensure everyone is aligned and all necessary steps are taken

2. Consistent spelling errors and grammar mistakes, on the other hand, won’t go unnoticed. If you’re getting more words “wrong than write,” your audience will be distracted from your core messages (as you just were). Your brand’s credibility and authority will be damaged if you are guilty of regular and careless mistakes. Prevent these by having “someone on your team look over your content before you hit ‘Post’; ideally, you’d want at least two pair of eyes after you compose it. Double-check everything, including the @mentions in your Tweet: it’s common to skip Twitter usernames during the proofreading process, only to realize that the post mentions an incorrect or nonexistent Twitter handle! Read your composed messages out loud. If you have any hesitations at all, look up spelling or grammar issues you might be unsure of.

3. Think Before You Post. While no SMB wants to be the recipient of negative comments on social media, there’s one simple way you can help prevent this: think before you post. In the case of Amy’s Baking Company, the company’s owners started to receive media attention in 2010 after responding negatively to a review about their restaurant on Yelp. But that was just the beginning. Recently, it was reported that they posted insulting comments about their detractors on the company’s own Facebook page. The couple later claimed someone unknown to them hacked into their Facebook account and posted the insults. No matter who posted the disparaging remarks, a key take-away can still be learned: never post rude comments or become overly defensive to the point of insulting on your social media pages. Doing so is one of the quickest ways to land in the middle of a social media nightmare.

4. Find Your Brand Advocates. Word of mouth is ever-powerful. Brand advocates come across as authentic, passionate and lacking an ulterior motive for supporting your brand. Brand advocates may reduce the impact or even prevent social media nightmares because of how they often defend your brand as negative activity is emerging. Turning customers into brand advocates can be daunting, but it is an achievable goal that can really help you should a social media disaster occur.

5. Have Security Measures in Place. PC security is one of the most obvious but often the most forgotten elements to include in your crisis communications plan. Update your computer, use separate passwords for each account, and create strong passwords.

Social media doesn’t have to be a source of stress if you’re well prepared for anything that can come your way. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way.

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