In the world of social media there are plenty of mistakes that can be costly. For instance, if you ignore customer questions or concerns, your company will look aloof, uncaring and unappreciative.
However, there are some social media “mistakes” that you can quickly recover from. The five blunders listed below are not really a big deal. If you make one of them, just take a deep breath and exhale. Everything is going to be okay!
1) Your Timing is Off
There has been a lot of research conducted on the “perfect” timing of a post on different social media channels.
The best time to post to Twitter is around 5pm eastern time.
This information doesn’t mean that you should only post at noon and 5pm or that you should always use noon and 5pm as two of your posting times.
These times simply give you a starting point from which you can begin testing the best times for YOU to post. Try out different day and time combinations until you find the one that is right for your audience.
If, during your testing, you post an update and hear crickets, don’t worry. It’s okay if your timing is off every once in a while. You can always just post the update again at a later date and time.
You shouldn’t constantly post the same update word-for-word, over-and-over again, but every once in a while it’s okay if the first time the reaction wasn’t what you expected (or what is in line with the normal response).
2) Someone Posts Something Negative About Your Company
When someone posts something negative about your company to a social media channel it can feel like the world is ending. It’s never good when someone does this, but it doesn’t have to ruin their entire day or yours.
You should simply take the appropriate action right away to fix the issue, like Zappos does:
If the post is offensive and not relevant to your company at all, you can just delete it if that’s within your control. Unfortunately people troll the Internet looking to make other people upset and there is no way to make your social media channels immune to it.
If the negative post is a customer complaint, you should address it appropriately. You can and should reply with immediate help.
If you are unable to provide help via the social network, you should provide the contact information necessary for the person to get the appropriate help (such as a customer care phone number or email address).
Having a plan for how you and your team will handle negative posts will help you respond appropriately and quickly.
You shouldn’t take customer complaints via social media lightly, but then again you shouldn’t take any customer complaints lightly. Instead, know how you will handle such posts efficiently and with grace so that the customer feels satisfied.
3) Your Graphics and Pictures Aren’t All Pixel Perfect
Professionally designed social media graphics are great. They can be used to effectively promote sales, new products and other important announcements.
Not every graphic or picture you post to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. has to be perfectly polished.
Here is a great example of a professionally designed graphic that Diamond Candles shared on Instagram:
And here is another graphic that they have shared on Instagram:
This second image is noticeably less visually appealing and yet it still received over 400 Likes and plenty of comments.
Worry less about making each image perfect and worry more about making each image worth-while. Your audience will forgive you if a graphic isn’t perfectly polished as long as it provides them some value.
4) You Post Something Off-Topic
Oh no, the world has ended… you’re fired!
I’m joking of course.
Posting something not directly or specifically related to your brand is okay in moderation. You probably do not want to post anything controversial, but sometimes a fun off-topic post can be a great way to spark up engagement.
For example, you might post a comic on Friday as a “Friday Funny” or you might post a motivational quote on a Monday morning.
Here’s an example from kitchen appliance company, Holstein Housewares:
Funny, cute or motivation types of posts may be unrelated to your brand, but they show that your company cares about its audience and has a personality.
The important thing to note is that off-topic posts should not occur every single day. They should be saved for special occasions. The majority of your posts should be on-point and relevant to your brand and industry.
5) You Misspelled a Word in a Post
Proper spelling and grammar is important in the world of social media. If your audience cannot understand you, they will be unable to engage with you.
Not to mention you want to represent your brand in the best way possible, and proof reading your posts before hitting publish is one way to do that.
That being said, if you hit publish on a post that has a typo on a very rare occassion or two the world is not going to end. Heck, even the White House social media team made this mistake when they misspelled “Americans.”
As soon as the misspelling was pointed out, the word was quickly fixed. This issue occurred in 2012 and I bet very, very few people today even remember this happening (if they knew about it in the first place).
If you post an update with a misspelled word or grammatical mistake, just take a deep breath and ask yourself two things:
1. Has anyone seen this yet? If you noticed the typo mere seconds after you hit publish, you can likely just delete the post and republish it without the typo.
2. Is the post unreadable? Does your typo make the post completely unreadable or does it make the post mean something other than what was intended? If so you will probably want to take down the post, apologize and then repost with the correct spelling.
If the typo is slight and the post has already received a lot of positive engagement, you may consider just leaving it up.
We're human and everyone makes mistakes. Your community will not disown you for one misspelling or grammar slip-up.
Have you ever had any social media bloopers? Or have you seen other companies post things that have made you shake your head?
What are some social media “mistakes” that ARE a big deal? Comment below and let’s share ways to ensure we don’t make these types of mistakes.
Originally published Jan 22, 2014 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017