Friday, 10 May 2013

A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable and always unacceptable…

At this point, I feel it’s important to admit that no one has really got this social media thing perfected yet. Not even the guy with the Social Media Slips and Stumbles blog. Sure, it's easy to point out where some people are doing it wrong, but the ability to point out how to do it right proves much harder.

Companies like Steam Whistle and Oreo do a great job of spreading the gospel and nurturing their online communities. And individuals like Ricky Gervais and Stephen Colbert adapt the medium for their individual needs whilst providing a source of near-constant entertainment to their legions of followers.

But even these savvy social media sages still slip-up and make mistakes from time to time.

Social media mistakes are okay. The may garner strong negative reactions at first, but the digital world moves fast and some new sinner is always taking centre stage.

As with anything in life, slip-ups are inevitable. The online cocktail party that is the social media world is not exempt from this universal truth.

Consequently, whether you are a well-known organization, massive corporation or lowly individual, there are a couple of specific things you can do if ever you find yourself caught in a cringe-worthy social media hailstorm.

Like in traditional public relations crises, the first step towards absolution of your sins is to acknowledge that you made a mistake in the first place. Repent.

From there, you should take any applicable combination of the following steps (offered by a Californian Public Relations agency Tellem Grody):

1. Pay the toll                                            2. Cement your base                   3. Simmer down

4. Admit the stumble                                5. Line up                                    6. Take off your jacket

7. Shift                                                       8. Laugh tactfully                        9. Keep talking

With a bit skill, a bit of luck and bit of creative candor, you should be back in the good graces of the Social Media Gods in no time. 

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