Miss Manner’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette – Crisis Edition

Social media has proven that it can be a gold mine for content marketing. That is, until a tiny, unpredictable crack suddenly sparks a destructive collapse. One minute social media can be a lucrative pawn in your marketing game whilethe next it’s the root of crippling loss. Your behavior on any one social media site can lead to significant consequences for your business.

Just look at the disastrous downfall Golden Corrall experienced last week. When employee Brandon Huber posted a YouTube video of raw meat left outside, which was then supposedly served to customers, it unleashed a stream of social media backlash. The bitter back and forth was enough to leave a bad taste in any consumer’s mouth.

And that’s exactly what happened. Experience for yourself the outrage aimed at the restaurant via a Facebook status the company posted after the video hit the Web:

buzzfeed status

Companies, like individuals, should be wary of their social media etiquette and take notice of the red flags that could potentially harm their marketing campaign. Unfortunately, a Miss Manner’s Guide to Social Media doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give you one of our own. Here’s my best shot at a potential excerpt with three do’s and dont’s to handling a social media marketing emergency.

DO construct a responsible social media plan and discuss it with employees. Make sure that you and your team are on the same page when it comes to social media, as well as the role it plays in the success of the business. Establish clear protocol on the level of professionalism required and identify individuals who are allowed to tweet or post on the company’s behalf. Implement policies that fairly address inappropriate social media behavior.

DON’T get into fights. Sticks and stones may break your bones, and words can actually harm in this scenario. Even if another party is in the wrong, a hot-head temper isn’t an attractive quality, especially when you’re representing a professional and reputable brand. Don’t give in to negative comments, no matter how disparaging or false they may be. Grace under pressure, my friends.

DON’T stay silent. If there’s anything worse than saying too much, it is saying nothing. If you’re in the wrong, a tasteful apology can be just enough to sooth irked customers. Even if you’re not, in refusing to acknowledge the problem, it opens up the floor for others to spread rampant rumors and feed negative publicity. As embarrassing and challenging as it may be, you need to take the reins, clarify the issue and put it to rest.

What other tips would you add to this list? Let us know @ContentBoost or on Facebook.