Tag Archives: Social media Content Writing Advice

How to Cope with Social Media Missteps

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Social media lets an organization talk directly to its customer base, helping to promote that brand and show its human side. While there are many benefits to this human interaction, the widespread reach of sites like Facebook and Twitter mean that one small faux pas can instantly be seen by people around the world. Here are some of the blunders that major brands have experienced recently. They’re classified in order of their offense.

Warning

The American Red Cross

Followers of the American Red Cross were more than a little bewildered when the organization tweeted out “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch Beer….when we drink we do it right #gettingslizzered.” For those who don’t know, getting slizzered is slang for getting drunk. Not exactly what the Red Cross is all about. The account quickly tweeted out an apology, noting, “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.” Though the tweet was embarrassing, the humor helped to diffuse the situation.

Misdemeanor

Honda

The car company tried to create some buzz by stealthily recruiting employees to pose as average American consumers who were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the company’s new Accord Crosstour. Unfortunately, their cover was quickly blown when a smart fan noticed that the so-called rabid Honda enthusiast actually had a LinkedIn profile showing he was the Manager of Product Planning at the company. Whoops. The business quickly deleted the posts from the imposter, and explained that they were gone because he had failed to mention his link to the organization. An honest and apologetic explanation helps, but it was still a source of embarrassment for the business.

Felony

Amy’s Baking Company

One of the most famous social media missteps of late comes from Amy’s Baking Company. The company appeared on an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” though Gordon Ramsay ended up storming out, explaining that the business’s owners were incapable of listening. Shortly after, the company received criticism on its Facebook page. Instead of taking the feedback in stride, the business began to respond to clients in an insulting way. They threw around profane language that you certainly wouldn’t dare utter in front of your children, and began to unleash a series of personal attacks on those who wrote on their page. After the outburst was over, the company explained that its Facebook page had been hacked. Not too convincing. While avoiding crude language in the first place would have been ideal, in this situation a genuine apology was necessary.

While these social media blunders are fairly cringe-worthy, a business owner does stand to learn a few things from the errors. These points include:

  • Don’t fight back: It’s normal to feel defensive when a person begins to criticize your business, but fighting fire with fire is not the way to go. Instead, it is best to resolve the situation and listen fully to the customer’s complaints. Name-calling and deleting negative sentiments only angers the client further, thus hurting the business and making the organization look unprofessional.
  • Don’t fake a hacking: Some companies and people believe that they can post something offensive, and then say that they were hacked in order to avoid facing consequences. In reality, a hacker would probably change the password for that account, making an apology about a hacking nearly impossible. It would also take a user time to realize that their account was hacked, thus making immediate claims of hacking irrelevant. It is not a good idea to say that your account was hacked when it wasn’t. An honest and authentic apology is much more effective.
  • Respond thoughtfully: Irate customers usually complain because they want a solution to their issues. Therefore, it is important to issue a response that is well thought out and relevant for that person. Simply firing off a generic, “We’re sorry you’re unhappy” will not make an angry user feel better. Instead, try to come up with a solution that will make the person happy. Do they want a refund? Do they want to know that your policies will change? When possible, it is best to come up with a comprehensive solution that deals with the issue head on. Apologies are nice, but action is better.

Though criticism never feels good, particularly when it is not completely true, a company must be gracious when responding to client complaints. Firing off angry tweets will only further anger the person, and puts that company at risk of becoming the next viral sensation.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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5 Ways to Use Your Business’s Facebook Page More Effectively

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Everyone from your grandma to your childhood pen pal has Facebook, and you know it’s an important site that gets plenty of eyeballs each day. But is Facebook really worth your efforts as a business owner? The answer is yes, when used correctly. Some entrepreneurs slap a generic question or comment on their Facebook status, leave it alone, and then wonder why they aren’t earning hundreds of fans each week. But when you utilize the social media site properly, Facebook can become an important branding tool for your company. Some best practices for businesses on Facebook include:

  1. Timing posts properly

Most people get into work, check e-mail, and drink a cup of coffee before they dive right in. Though this may drive you crazy as a boss, use it to your advantage when it comes to connecting with your fans. Morning posts will get more views and interaction than those posted later in the day. Studies show that posts at 9 a.m. gain the most traction throughout the day. Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the most active days on Facebook when it comes to sharing information. Using these facts, you’ll be able to connect with fans more effectively as they peruse the site.

  1. Engaging content

Just as you zone out when someone at a cocktail party is blabbering on about a topic that you find dull and dry, Facebook users won’t stick around if what you’re saying doesn’t interest them or is too self-promotional. A quick “Wow! It’s so hot out there today!” is forgettable, irrelevant and frankly annoying brand behavior. It may even get you unfollowed. Instead, share links to useful articles, funny images, or interesting facts. When you’re providing something that benefits the Facebook user, they’ll feel more likely to connect with your brand.

  1. Pictures

Let’s face it: many Internet users are lazy. They’d rather look at a compelling image than read a big block of text. Take advantage of this and post captivating pictures along with your statuses. You don’t need a fancy camera; just make sure the image will make an impression on the viewer. A shot snapped of Barack and Michelle Obama after the president’s re-election quickly became one of the most shared images on the Internet. Considering that point, a status that said, “President and Mrs. Obama are thrilled about the re-election,” would not have had anywhere close to the same impact.  Now, realize this is simply an analogy, we wouldn’t recommend showcasing political, religious or other controversial topic matter, pictures or posts if you are looking for material for a business Facebook page.  That sort of thing can alienate your audience if they do not share your viewpoint.

  1. Use your cover photo wisely

A cover photo is an important space for a business. It allows you to reflect company culture and values, while further communicating exactly what your business stands for. In fact, a recent study found that visitors pay far more attention to your cover photo than any content found on your Facebook wall. With this in mind, take some time and put some thought into the image. If you’re running a promotion or preparing to open a new location, incorporate this into the cover photo (just make sure that the cover image isn’t all text-based or an advertisement; Facebook has rules about that). It’s also wise to give your brand a human face by using pictures of people (either employees or customers) in the image.

  1. Ask for feedback

Most consumers love to give their input about a product or brand, so use your Facebook page to get this information for free instead of paying for focus groups. If you’re thinking about unveiling a new flavor at your ice cream shop, ask fans what sounds most appealing. If you’ve recently made changes to a product or are getting ready to launch a new product line, ask how past or current customers feel about it. People want to feel like the brand cares about their opinion, so this is a good way to connect on a deeper level.

By putting a personal spin on a business’s Facebook page and engaging users, a brand becomes more appealing and memorable to a consumer who is constantly inundated with advertising messages.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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