Social media is one of the latest tools that direct sellers and small businesses can utilize in reaching their audience and engaging with their consumers. Brands of today realize the importance of establishing a presence in the online world, since this is the way most people are now connecting with the businesses, brands, and products they love. And because social media is currently where the people are, it’s also where most brands choose to connect with their customers and build relationships with them.
Of course, it’s important that before you decide to use social media in your campaign, you need to make sure that you already have your plans laid out. You don’t want to just jump into the fray without a strategy in place. And you should definitely understand how you’re going to integrate the different social networking sites with your brand.
But perhaps the main problem that plagues brands that utilize social media is the fact that it is easy to commit social blunders. The viral effect of social media is quite well-known, and it can be both a blessing and a curse. Even people are affected by what they do on these social networking sites, resulting in not getting hired for a job they applied to, getting fired from their current position, and even earning a bad reputation.
Sometimes, you don’t even know that you’ve made a social media mistake until it’s reported and spreads like wildfire through the online world. Now you can either just bury your head in the sand and hope it dies out soon, or you can take steps to do what you can to salvage your reputation.
As a direct seller or small business owner, how do you recover from a social blunder? How do you socially bounce back and keep your brand and reputation intact? Here are some tips.
1. Address the problem as soon as you can
One of the worst things you can do is to ignore what happened and hope that it eventually dies out, because the more that you don’t address the situation, the more that people will speculate about it until a small social media mistake can evolve into a bigger problem.
Think of it this way – the problem isn’t going to resolve itself by its own, so the sooner you address it, the better for your brand. If a customer has a bad experience and starts posting about it on your social media pages, make sure to address it quickly, admit where you went wrong, and work on improving your performance. Customers will appreciate the fact that you didn’t just brush off their concerns or make excuses for what happened.
Also, make sure that you monitor your social media pages regularly so that you’re updated with what’s happening. You don’t want to act too late, since the more people who learn about what happened without feedback from you, the worst it can get.
2. Learn from the mistake
Committing a social faux pas doesn’t mean the end of the world nor the end of your brand. You can actually learn from your mistake, make improvements in your business, and come out a better brand.
So if your mistake was tweeting something you thought was silly, but actually ended up offending some people, you should definitely take that as a lesson. When it comes to social media, if you’re going to post something that may be politically incorrect or that may put you in a bad light for some people, it might be better to just avoid posting it in the first place. You don’t want to ruin your brand just for the sake of a few laughs. You want to ensure that what occurred doesn’t happen again.
3. Build a strong community
Even direct sellers and small business owners can benefit a lot from building a strong community around your brand. When you have loyal brand advocates who are willing to go the extra mile for you, then any social blunder you commit will probably not affect you that much since there are people who will defend your brand. So it’s really important that you engage your consumers and build a good relationship with them, because this is what results in a strong community.
Yes, you can socially bounce back from even the worse social blunders as long as you make sure to address the problem quickly, learn from your mistakes, and build a strong community around your brand. Remember that a social media campaign takes some effort, so make sure that you plan well and ahead so that you can really build an excellent brand and avoid mistakes.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and is also the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.