You Social Media-Goofed. Now What?



When you tweet the wrong link for your organization, it can feel like the end of the world. Breathe - everybody makes misteaks.

Find a flub on one of your social media accounts and feeling flustered? Instead of a knee-jerk reaction, stop, think for a moment and consider your social options. What should you do if you goof on your organization's social media channels?

  1. Respond: The most famous social media fails are the ones that followers notice before the company. American Apparel infamously posted an image of the Challenger exploding in celebration of July 4and they didn't correct their mistake until thousands of people tweeted about it. If you make a mistake, it should only take one person (or no one) to point it out before you fix it.
  2. Acknowledge: Similar to identifying the mistake internally, acknowledge it publicly. Let your advocates know you heard their concerns immediately. Making them feel heard diffuses the tension.
  3. Apologize: No Justin Bieber, it's not too late to say sorry. When it comes to an insensitive tweet or an incorrect link, make time to apologize. Last year, DiGiorno Pizza woefully misused #WhyIStayed in an effort to capitalize on the trending hashtag. What they didn't realize was it was part of a movement of domestic violence victims speaking out on why they stayed in abusive situations. Despite their mistake, they recognized it and immediately issued a heartfelt apology. Your apology should ring true and sincere.
  4. Learn: Many times we can avoid these mistakes by proofreading one more time or doing a bit of quick background research. Do you remember Delta's debacle during the World Cup? To celebrate the match between the U.S. and Ghana, Delta shared a picture of a giraffe and the Statue of Liberty. Of course, giraffes don't live in Ghana and the internet quickly pointed out their faux pas. A simple Google search could have saved Delta a lot of trouble.

Take a lesson from these mistakes and react promptly and appropriately! Do you have a plan to handle a social media crisis at your organization? We want to know how you handle mis-tweets and poor posts--tell us in the comments! For more resources on managing digital missteps, check out the Digital Advocacy Institute.