Social media has been and continues to be a great tool for many companies to develop their brand. But learning how to use it correctly is challenging at times. As important as social media can be in expanding your company’s growth, if you make a mistake using it, then it can be just as, if not more, imperative to your company’s demise. Your business must know what social media faux pas to avoid so that someone isn’t left trying salvage what is left of what once was a successful company. Here are a few common mistakes made by companies on social media and ways to prevent them from happening again.
A first common mistake for companies regarding their social media accounts is that they are not monitoring the people who have access to them. An honest social media mishap can happen to anyone, but there are some who are better trained in knowing what to say and what not to say to the public. An example of poor use of Twitter is when a Kmart employee tweeted “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrible tragedy” to send their condolences to the victims of the Newton, CT shooting. Then they used the hashtag “#Fab15Toys” which shows extremely poor taste to use a tragedy to help increase sales.
Another facet that can increase PR nightmares is bad timing. A post can be harmless at one moment and extremely distasteful in another. NRA posted a tweet, “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” The problem with this tweet is that it occurred the morning after the Aurora, CO shootings. It was unintentional because the NRA scheduled the tweet beforehand but you must be cautious of when to schedule certain tweets, especially when shocking events like that can happen at any moment.
With the number of companies integrating social media into their business’ on goings, the chance for a public relations nightmare is at an all-time high. There are security tools out there to aid in preventing mistakes from happening, but the key to stopping these accidents from occurring is knowing what they are and learning from others’ mistakes.