Firms’ Mistakes on Social Media and How to Avoid Making Such Mistakes

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The majority of the firms recognizes the efficiency of using the social media.  The popular sites which are drawing millions of users on a daily basis include Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter. Many organizations face the pressure of using the social media because their competitors are using the same modes and also because a majority of their customers require them to be using it. However, many organizations usually fail to perform well since they present information which is not appealing to the users.  Social media presents great opportunities for building a business’s productivity, but if not used appropriately, it can bring it down swiftly.  Businesses adopt social media as their marketing tool, but if any mistakes happen, it can end up posing negative impacts on the firm thus costing their prospective customers and goodwill. An organization needs to learn from the mistakes of the other companies so that it does not repeat the same mistake which can damage their brand.

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Companies make a mistake of posting too much information on the platforms which can be flooding the audience with more details some which can be unnecessary.  The companies that publish too much information can be prone to committing social media mistake, since they usually do not spare any time where a small target group can view the information before presenting it. When an organization posts a lot of information, it will even lack the potential of responding to the vast number of feedback that they receive from their followers.

Many companies are making a mistake of not responding to the customer complaints and criticisms on the social media platforms. A company should be ready to respond to the feedback either positive or negative, the suggestions and the comments from their audience. The cat of ignoring or negatively responding to the feedback will be destroying the existing relationship. Communication is usually two ways, thus failing to interact with the followers will lower their interest with time. An example is Comcast, which allowed its brand reputation to be spoiled after failing to respond to an incident of service technician having a nap while at work. The information that the top management also posts on the social media can have an impact on the organization.  Therefore, the senior executives should post content which can boost the firm’s brand image since many people can be following the information that they are presenting (522 Productions n.d.).

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Firms have been seen to market their brands in social media using words or images that promote racial stereotypes. According to 522 Productions, companies need to avoid blatant racism at all costs since their products target customers from different parts of the world. An example is Mountain dew Company, which posted an ad known as Felicia the Goat on the YouTube platform. Many people have responded by terming the ad as being the most racist advertisement ever.

Companies make mistakes of trivializing issues that community members perceive to be sensitive.  This can make its potential customers perceive the firm as not having a concern for the well-being of human beings. An example is where Hyundai puts an ad on YouTube, which was minimizing the sensitivity of suicide. The commercial was showing a man who was attempting to commit suicide by inhaling the exhaust fumes, but he did not die since he was in a Hyundai fuel cell vehicle.  Despite the company apologizing after encountering numerous critics, it can make them lose their potential customers by merely putting the ad (522 Productions, n.d.).

Firms have made a mistake of overusing the hashtags. A brand needs to analyze a hashtag from different points before publishing. What begins as a nice-natured appeal to the followers can end up feeding fury and outraged. The company should always have thoughts on the thing that can go wrong and how can the public misinterpret the hashtag. They should be a scenario planning for the adverse reactions. Many companies like IBM, Starbucks, and Sea world have encountered adverse reactions from the public as a result of the hashtags that they posted on the social media (Scarnecki, 2017).

Our organizations can avoid making such mistakes in the coming days by first developing clear guidelines. There should be initial social conversations with the employees and the management to work with them to come up with social guidelines. This will help in reducing the mistakes that the company is prone to make and also minimizes the frequency of occurrence (Clark, 2013).

Another lesson from these, from these other firms is that mistakes will always occur, especially when using the social media platforms, but the company needs to adopt practical approaches to handling the matter. In cases where the mistake is traumatizing, the company should be willing to give a heartfelt response, which shows a sense of accountability and understanding. There should an online marketing team that should be on their toes to carefully craft online apologies when a need arises. An organization should own up when a mistake happens, and they should inform the public that they will address it and put measures of ensuring that there is no repeat of the same.

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The organization should adopt the act of testing an ad before launching an advertising campaign on their products. This can be achievable by presenting the advertisement to a sample of the target audience and also include persons outside the targeted group (Nazarova, 2017).  There should be a precise analysis of everything that firm plans to post on social media so that it can have a clue on the expected responses. An organization needs to identify a well-trained team, which will have a core responsibility of posting on the social media and responding appropriately to the current situation.

Lastly, it is challenging to be successful in using the social media, and if a company lacks proper dedication, it can commit a mistake. However, having a dedicated team and consistently learning from the mistakes of other forms will help the organization to avoid committing similar mistakes easily. Some of the mistakes that other firms have committed include failing to respond to their followers’ feedback, responding in a formal way which portrays a manner of not considering their emotions and presenting advertisements that are sensitive or present an aspect of racism. Our organizations can avoid such future mistakes by setting social guidelines with all the employees, ensuring that there is a test on any ad before presenting it to the larger audience. In case a mistake happens, our organization would be willing to own up to the wrong act, and the response should be heartfelt to the social media users. The measures will help to increase our following on the social media and also increase our productivity.   Avoiding the mistakes will help the organization to engage the customers, build relationships, and promote the company’s brand image positively.

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Did you like this sample?
  1. Clark, D. (OCT 15, 2013). The Best Way To Prevent Social Media Disasters. Forbes.
  2. 522 Productions. (n.d.). 5 Examples of Brand Fails on YouTube.
  3. Nazarova, N. (June 9, 2017). What We Can Learn from the Biggest Social Media Management Nightmares of 2017. SeMrush.
  4. Scarnecki, S. (August 23, 2017). 8 hashtag fails brands can learn from. PR WEEK.
  5. Schiff, L, J. (Oct 23, 2013). 15 big media mistakes companies make and how to avoid them. CIO.
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