Social media in the business world is still hard for some people to understand. This is true for all companies, big and small. No one is immune from the potential for slip ups. This was demonstrated quite clearly yesterday, when AT&T tweeted an image of a cell phone displaying a picture of the “pillars of light” in place of the twin towers with the caption “Never Forget.
Many people thought this was in bad taste, and numerous news organizations, including ABC, CBS and the Huffington Post commented on the Twitter outrage. AT&T removed the tweet, and the company’s CEO issued an apology. The story continues to gain negative attention in the media, though some do praise the rapid response. What does this mean for you in your social media marketing? A few things:
If you EVER feel like an update/tweet/status/post may be in bad taste, you’ll probably want to play it safe and NOT post it. There should be limits to being provocative, and to the lengths to which you will go to sell a product or service. AT&T crossed the line here.
2. If you DO screw up (and it will probably happen eventually), acknowledge it immediately, don’t be defensive and own up to your mistake. A sincere apology is key, and AT&T didn’t do a bad job here.
Have a process for reviewing your social media activity before it is posted. Often, companies will have one person or a small group in charge of social media. This is generally fine, but you must be sure to vet any content to make sure it is tasteful, on-brand and meets company guidelines.
There aren’t many mistakes from which you can’t recover, but the easiest way to handle it is to avoid the mistakes altogether. Be careful out there, folks!