Avoiding Bad Publicity From Poor Social Media Management

By @TheMarkDalton

The tweets that come from Donald Trump’s Twitter account each day are an indication of just how much trouble social media can cause your personal brand or your business brand if you are not careful with it.

Now, Donald Trump happens to have landed himself in the main seat in the White House but every day that goes by he is blasted on Twitter for how he chooses to use social media.

For as long as companies use social media, mistakes have been and will be made. Fails by companies get more attention than the successes on social media and one of the worst things that you can do is to try and leverage the wrong situations for your brand.

Some of the most frequent social media blunders include fast tribute tweets. When a celebrity dies, it is not an ample marketing opportunity especially when the celebrity had no connection with your brand in the first place. Jumping in too fast can backfire real quick.

Then we have brands that try to be cool to attract a certain audience. Very few brands will be able to pull this off and if you decide to all of a sudden try to make your brand hip and cool when it has not been the norm so far then people are going to get confused.

We also have the, “I was hacked” line that brands and influencers throw around when something starts to go really wrong. This is the line that companies will try to use to avoid taking responsibility for what has happened on their account. Getting hacked is a real thing with real consequences but some use it as an excuse when they mess up real bad.

How to avoid the most common social mistakes?

There are a few things you can do to prevent things from going really wrong on your companies social media. We have talked about managing a social media crisis before, but what about getting to it early and stopping it before it has to happen.

1) Don’t jump in too fast

Social posts that generate bad publicity tend to be thrown together in the heat of the moment. Many social media managers like to empower social media teams to execute a social strategy without someone looking over their shoulder. That is good but also can be risky because if something goes wrong then it is the whole business that suffers. There is nothing wrong with vetting drafts before they are published, it is quick and easy to setup and will help you maintain control over what comes from the account.

Using a scheduler such as Buffer can help you to place tweets in a queue and then you can look at how they are composed before they are sent from the account.

2) Balance your team

Young talent and experienced leadership. That for me would be the perfect blend, turn to young employees who are active on social media and use them to craft a strategy that can help the brand tap into trends. Young talented social media power users can tell you very fast what will work for the brand and what won’t work.

3) Reduce the risk of getting hacked

Like we said above, even though “I was hacked” can be thrown around as an excuse, it is very real for some companies. Invest in security tools that will make it harder for people to breach your account. Also, if you are building a personal brand then you should be investing in two factor authentication too. Vulnerability management software should have continuous thread monitoring and alert you if someone gains access with malicious intent.

Not all publicity is good publicity and there is nothing worse than finding that you have landed your brand or business in hot water over a tweet that was simply taken the wrong way but it happens all the time now. Nearly every day I see company accounts having to come online and apologise for a post that a team member has sent, with the right approach and some guidelines in place you can prevent that type of content from happening at all.

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