Before you post something in the name of the company, it is important to make sure that the tone and message of the post align with what you want to communicate. Enlisting the help of a PR professional or reading posts out loud are a bunch of great ways to make sure the message you’re trying to get across is the right one. But even then, it is possible for the leader’s message to be taken the wrong way or mistakenly miss the mark.
When this happens, leaders must take immediate action both internally and externally. Below, eight members of the Fast Company board of directors share the first action leaders should take under these circumstances and how to avoid similar situations in the future.
1. Own the error and explain it.
If a social media leader gets it wrong, own it up and make it clear. If an apology is needed, issue a genuine apology that includes taking responsibility while making adjustments. To reduce risk, leaders and prominent voices representing a company must be trained in digital responsibility and have a clear strategy for their overall digital presence that includes key messages, tone, and tactics. — Lisa Bichsel, Bichsel Medical Marketing Group
2. Consider it wholeheartedly and take action.
The first thing a company should do after a social media gaffe is to take ownership, apologize sincerely, and decide what action will be taken to make things right. To avoid future mistakes (as much as possible), make sure your company has clear social media guidelines and someone who regularly reviews social media posts. – Robin Yonatan, GetVoIP
3. Reply quickly.
Companies need to constantly monitor and monitor their social media accounts so that they react very quickly when it gets out of hand. In the world of social media, you have 12 hours to respond, apologize, or delete the post before things really go wrong. So pay attention to notifications and be proactive about this. Solomon Timothy, OneIMS
4. Provide training on consistent media.
Our team leaders talk all the time regarding our social media presence, both from a company and personal point of view. Everyone has their own personality and should be free to express it, but there should be awareness of how it affects not only the corporate brand but also the personal brand. We rehearse and talk things through to try to avoid slips. – Richard R.B. Botto, Stage 32
5. View original reminders and make changes.
Mistakes happen, and your customers will generally understand that if you stay honest. Apologize if the situation calls for it, but most importantly accept your mistake and immediately make an effort to change it. Customers can recognize corporate speech from a mile away, and they’re sick of it. So show genuine remorse and ask for forgiveness. You may be surprised at how quickly you will be forgiven. – Jason Hall, Five Channels
6. Recreate your social media operations.
The first step is to determine how the disconnection occurred. Next, you should create a workflow process that involves having multiple people double-check your social media copy before publishing posts. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing
7. Create social media guidelines.
The first thing the company should do is address the leader directly and ask them to stop creating more content. Many people create provocative posts and then multiply their responses. You need to put an end to it immediately. Prevent such events in the future by establishing guidelines that tell employees that there are consequences to such actions including termination. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Development of a new digital sound.
He responded immediately in a thoughtful and honest manner. Apologize if necessary. The way to avoid this is to ensure that your leadership team understands the right social media messaging strategy and how to develop their digital voice to align with the organization’s values and goals. Christopher Tompkins, Go! Agency