We've all seen it happen. A social media post can go viral in a matter of seconds, even after the user has deleted the content. Take a few minutes and think about the implications that a negative, viral post can have on your brand. Sure, we all want our posts to go viral so more that more people become aware of our products and services. But what happens when a social media post that we never intended for the world to see is suddenly shared again and again by people from across the world? Unfortunately, it becomes a social media crisis situation that many brands are unprepared to manage.
I find that most social media crisis situations can be prevented if celebrities, public figures and business owners are mindful of the global impact of social media. When you share a public social media post, users from all over the globe can see, share like, comment or repost. It's time to stop reacting and start planning. Simply put, stop posting content without a social media team and without a strategy.
Our natural instinct is to use social media to vent when we have a bad day or when someone treats us unfairly. I firmly believe that your personal social media profiles are the best space to do so, if you must vent. However, make sure your personal profile is closed or set to private to avoid any potential issues with expressing your personal feelings and beliefs.
In general, your business or brand's social media sites are not the place to discuss politics, religion, race relations, or to vent when you're angry. At the end of the day, at least one person might be offended and that's one too many. Most likely, your fans and followers did not choose to follow you so they could feel uncomfortable or offended by your content. They chose to follow you because they believe in your brand and are interested in what you have to offer.
The new year has just begun and we are already seeing backlash from celebrities like Vicki Yohe who choose to discuss politics on her fan pages. As a result of the mostly negative feedback from the social media post, she has deleted and/or in some cases made her public social media sites private. Ouch!
To avoid a social media crisis, focus on these important tips:
Hire an all-star social media team to post on your behalf. If you find yourself in a crisis situation, professionals will advise you on how to minimize negative press and backlash.
Resist the urge to post when you're angry. If you still need to vent, wait 48 hours after the incident and then post content to your personal social media profiles and not your business pages.
Focus on the Positive. With so much negativity in our world, your followers will appreciate a daily dose of motivation. Remember, negative people need drama like oxygen. Remain positive and it will take their breath away.
Avoid sharing controversial statements, feelings and beliefs on your public profile pages. Nine times out of 10, someone may become offended. That someone could be a potential client, partner or investor.
When in doubt, consult with a professional before implementing a social media strategy. For more information about implementing a social media crisis plan, call 301.778.8208. Happy posting!