Sure, we could give you lots of great advice on how to avoid a social media snafu. But what if the damage is already done? Your reputation doesn’t have to be ruined, and you can recover from even the most egregious online marketing missteps. Here’s how to make a comeback.
3 Steps to Redemption
- Assess. First, you have to take a really honest and objective inventory of what happened. How big was your mistake? Did you get overly opinionated about a sensitive subject or did someone on your team go totally rogue? No matter how bad the offense, chances are you can recover with your dignity intact. Don’t hesitate, though. Successful damage control requires swift and deliberate action.
- Acknowledge. After assessing the damage, you gotta own up to your mistake. If you messed up, admit it. Don’t skirt around the issue or pretend it didn’t happen. You’ll feel better after you acknowledge that you accidentally shared some of your dark, clown-themed poetry on your business page instead of your personal one.
- Apologize. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” might sound good, but it’s a lie. If you make someone upset, say you’re sorry. Make it a good apology, too. No staring at the floor and mumbling your way through it. You have to apologize clearly and publicly or no points for you. End your apology with a statement about what you’ll do to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
Rebuilding Trust after the Storm
Even the most graciously on-point apology doesn’t mean folks are just going to swoon into your arms and look longingly into your eyes the way they used to. You’ll have to win them back by putting some time and effort toward repairing that weakest link to prevent a repeat performance.
For example, if you lost credibility by sharing a bogus news story, implement a content vetting system to make sure only credible stuff gets through and develop a content calendar to keep you on task going forward. Managing your online reputation requires a fair amount of foresight. You can’t just wing it out there.
Of course, the best way to deal with an online scandal or slip-up is not to have one in the first place. The best way to do this is to make sure everyone on your team is on board with your overall marketing strategy, and you’re working with a crack team in the first place. And just as you wouldn’t give a teenager the keys to your expensive sports car, don’t just go handing out your company social media login information to just anyone.