Social Media helps you to reach and engage with a wide audience. Though it may seem like an advantage, it has its own pitfalls too. The pace at which information travels on Social Media is mind boggling and beyond our control. Many marketing companies have stressed the importance of being extremely cautious before marketing products on Social Media. After meeting many marketing experts from the industry, I have come up with some pointers of how to avoid embarrassing yourself on Social Media which might help you in case you are planning on using it.
Not all jokes are funny
In 2013, when Quvenzhane Wallis got nominated for an Oscar, media went crazy. For one thing, she was 9 years old and extremely thin, not to forget, she was the youngest actress to be nominated at that time. The Onion, one of the leading newspapers, tweeted a joke on her which was widely considered inappropriate. There was widespread dissent amongst the online community and it portrayed the paper in bad taste. Even though they deleted the tweet later on, the damage was done.
Piggybacking isn’t always a good idea
A common strategy used by companies is to jump on the current controversial topic doing the rounds and use it to their advantage. Although this is a proven strategy and it does work, it can go horribly wrong as well. The Starbucks campaign is the best example of this. In 2015, Starbucks started the “Race together” campaign in support of Michael Brown and Eric Garner who were killed by the police in an encounter. The campaign was intended to be between customers and Starbucks employees but the media thought it to be insensitive. They had to pull it down after a series of negative comments started pouring in.
Roast? Umm maybe not
Brand Managers consider this as a double edged sword. As a brand, interaction with the customers is a very good idea and is appealing too, but one needs to be very careful. The New York police department encouraged the citizens to share stories about their interactions with the department, but instead of getting positive stories, they got endless pictures of how police had manhandled the public and even beaten them for no reason at all. The entire idea had to be dropped immediately to protect the image of the department. Errors like these happen if you do not study public sentiments before starting something like this on such a big scale.
The above three scenarios are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many more errors which can be made if you are not careful. Some of these cause mild disruptions while others malign the image of the company permanently. It is very easy to commit a mistake on Social Media, but it is very difficult to limit its aftereffects. Remember, Social Media is an extremely volatile tool and a little carelessness can cost you a great deal. The only tip I would give is, be careful before posting anything online if you do not want to embarrass yourself. Check and recheck it as many times as you can!