Social Media Surprises Need to Be Handled Calmly and Quickly

Close-up shot of white computer keyboard and red post key. Conceptual 3D

Surprise! You’ve just completed a great company event, raised money for a worthy local charity, and had outstanding participation. Then, late that night you get a call from a staff member saying that someone has posted an unhappy comment on the company’s Facebook page. A friend of a customer was mad they didn’t win the raffle and decided to post about it.

Surprises can be fun and exciting but rarely when it’s on your company’s social media. Unfortunately, it’s usually just a matter of time before nearly every business experiences this. Here are some tips to help when this happens:

  1. Carefully research what happened, including identifying the poster (customer, visitor, online troll?) Is the poster upset with your company service or is it a random comment? The situation will help determine how to respond.
  2. Calmly think through the situation before commenting and/or replying to the post. If your company goofed, reply with a promise to make it right and then take the conversation offline. However, if the comment is complaining about something else (like not winning the raffle) and the person is someone you know, hide the post and then call the person directly to discuss the situation. Keep the conversation constructive.
  3. Quickly review your company’s social media policy, in case the person posting is an online troll. A well crafted social media policy allows you and/or the social media administrator to take down comments, ignore them, or respond in an appropriate fashion according to your policy.

If your company doesn’t have a social media policy, make that a priority. A comprehensive policy will cover how to handle these types of situations as well as how you want to encourage employees’ participation on company social media. In a world of 24/7 social media, you need to be vigilant and prepared for surprises the best you can.