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As an entrepreneur, if you don’t have a visible strong brand, customer loyalty will be hard to come by. The social media platforms have made the entire process of building a brand easier by enabling you to engage with your consumers and spread awareness about your product and service. However, social media is not without its share of negative consequences. Each and every brand experiences criticism on social media at some point or the other. In this digital age, following a wrong strategy can also damage a brand’s image. With all the goof-ups, the first step is to have a plan ready to get out of the situation.
Entrepreneur India lists out a few tips to help brands handle a social media goof up.
Accept and Apologise:
Every company needs to have an action plan to get out of a difficult situation, especially in terms of a social media goof up these days.
But keeping everything aside Sumit Mehra, Founder & Director, The Cloth Library feels the most important thing is to be honest with your customers.
"Every brand has loyal customers and they deserve to know the truth. In case of a mistake, all you have to do is own up to it. Accept and apologize, that's all that is needed," said Mehra.
Social media goof ups are inevitable. Jainee Gandhi, Founder and Principal Consultant, Imagedge Academy, believes if a post or tweet has been offensive or is misrepresented, say sorry and delete it.
"Whether it has been a mixup or a misunderstanding, it is from your company. So, accept your mistake. Last year during Mumbai rains, so many passengers were stuck at the Mumbai airport. One airline in particular (the one I was traveling) did not reply to any tweets on the progress. It’s a major goof up in times of sub calamities. Always respond to questions that are necessary," she
Create a Counter-strategy With a Better Communication:
Social Media is the impetuous rage in today’s times. It is like an open book where irrespective of what an individual or brand posts online, it is bound to get analyzed, scrutinized, talked about or even trolled about by millions of other people.
Sahil Chopra, CEO and Founder, iCubesWire emphasized that to extract itself out of the goof-up, the brand should come with a counter strategy that revives the online brand value.
"This can be done in two ways. Either they make a joke out of their own mistakes as a sign of acceptance & look past the matter or they create a counter-strategy with a better communication. Either way, the brand should shoulder the responsibility & emerge gracefully out of the goof-up. However, it depends on the situation & each goof-up should be handled in the ways best suited for the brand," he added.
Avoid Ignoring Negative Feedback:
As social media is one of the ace tools used by the companies to create their online presence and manage real-time communication with prospects and customers. It is important that this double-edged sword is given in the right hands as even the slightest of slip can literally kill your brand.
Vaibhav Vats, Co-founder, Digiperform.com, shared that companies should avoid ignoring negative feedback.
"The negative comments may not get much response from other users, which leads the business to think it is not a big deal. But the people who look at your social media profile, see these messages are negatively affected," said Vats.
Use Communication Skills:
Social media goof-ups can be costly, especially if brands have been positioning themselves as "experts" in their domain.
Abdulla Basha, Co-founder, Social Frontier, suggests that brands must use communication skills in such situation. "If possible, use wit/humor to make the mistake seem less serious (depends on the goof up)," he added.
Address the Situation Immediately:
In case of a social media miss, Abhesh Verma, COO, nexGTv believes the first thing brands should do is to address the situation immediately.
"Posts, especially those could potentially be controversial, go viral very quickly. Addressing the matter proactively can mitigate negativity and also allows brands to set the tone of subsequent conversations at the very onset. In case the mistake is substantial, an apology should be issued immediately. It must, however, be ensured that the apology is not made without a proper understanding of the issue on hand since any critical communication created in haste or with faulty logic has the potential to backfire," said Verma