Avoiding a Social Media Disaster for Your Small Business

Avoiding a Social Media Disaster for Your Small Business

What comes to mind when you hear the words “social media disaster”? Maybe the infamous “gettin’ slizzard” Red Cross tweet. Or maybe it was the YouTube video of Domino’s employees doing some pretty gross stuff to orders they were making for customers. Whatever came to mind, you don’t want to be that brand that has a social media disaster in their history. Today, we’re offering some of our tips to help you avoid a similar situation.

Create a social media policy.
This should be a very clear, straightforward policy on what is and isn’t allowed both from employees and from the official brand profiles. This should include rules about offensive language, how to interact with individuals leaving negative comments/feedback, and an escalation plan for if a situation begins to get out of hand.

Don’t fight fire with fire.
There will always be naysayers, especially in regards to brands and businesses. Have a plan in place for how you will handle negative comments, and for which a commenter may need to be blocked. As a general rule, one comment shouldn’t earn a ban, but if someone is constantly spamming your page, it may be time to ban them.

Respond to all negative comments directly, personally, and quickly.
Generally, if someone is reaching out via social media, they are looking for a quick response or action from the brand or business in question. Rather than ignore a negative commenter, reach out and ask what you can do to help.

Always, always proofread and edit.
Maybe you don’t think your comment is offensive, but with social media and customer interaction, it’s always best to edit your comment before hitting send. You should air on the side of safety when sending responses to customers via social networks.

Only grant access to your profiles to trusted individuals.
We all make mistakes, but it’s important to make sure that you are only giving profile access to individuals that can be trusted to follow policies and respond appropriately. A good marker for this would be to check out their public profile pages, and see how they interact with people on those. Also, consider limiting employees from using their phones to send social media updates. Often, this is where people accidentally send personal updates to their brand pages.

These are some of our best tips for avoiding a social media disaster in your small business, but we’d like to hear what is working for you. Which of these tips do you use in your business? Anything we left off the list? Leave a comment below!

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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter