Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Social Media Tips: How To Prevent a Social-Media Meltdown

A quick recap for those of you who missed it: There was a famous incident with a restaurant chain recently where a customer wrote a note with reference to God and left it without a tip for the waitress. She posted it on Reddit with the customer's signature being visible. The readers responded with tremendous support for the waitress. When the restaurant chain fired the waitress, the social media exploded with banter.

We have some very useful tips that can help you to avoid a social media catastrophe similar to this example.

Recognise the correct bad guy

The restaurants first mistake was to decide that the waitress was the bad guy. The people on Reddit were certain that it was the customer. Another mistake was also choosing one cheap client to support instead of its employee.

Have a social media manager

If you don't have one, it is time to find one immediately. Even if your company does not have accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, and does not want a blog, you cannot ignore what people say about you on these forums. Look for an efficient manager who reads social media sites and is responsible for reading and responding to comments about your company.

Efficiency and loyalty

HMV is another company that had its mass layoffs tweeted live. The tweets, by the laid off employees went viral. The marketing manager was quoted asking how to shut down Twitter. He should have taken charge, or responded in a better way. Your new media manager has to know what to do and be completely loyal.

Social media does not tolerate hypocrisy

The official statement from the restaurant chain said that the company had taken action against the staff member and apologized to the infamous guest, as per their policy, the guest was entitled to the right to privacy. The waitress had violated the policy as the receipt she posted had the guest's name clearly legible. Not very long before, the company's official media manager had posted a positive remark by a guest with the name being readable.

Clarity in legal social media rules

This is very challenging because employees will speak to each other and post on Facebook about things at work. People will complain about salary and work problems, but you can draw the line by stating a clear and legal policy that bans posting information about customers.

Everyone has a voice

On the Internet, even the employee at the lowest level can have a voice louder than the official spokesperson. If you want media attention in this era, you only need an Internet connection to be heard.

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