5 social media blunders – and 3 responses to them

Posted by jerry on March 9th, 2009 — Posted in Journal, New media, Technology

Ben Parr of Mashable wrote this post on “5 social media blunders and what to learn from them“. The five seem to be divided between where the social media themselves have blundered and where users have blundered in using social media with examples from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – but they are applicable across the board.

It seems to me that they come down to a couple of basic principles to avoid making these blunders:

Firstly it’s about communication – with the audience – and this further breaks down into two strategies

  • If you make a blunder, be up front, apologise and set about communicating with your audience to fix the problem. Both Facebook and a campaign on YouTube could have learned from that. Sony didn’t, to their cost, and Facebook did, to their gain. Basically, people do make mistakes, and most people will forgive if you’re up front about it. Don’t try to stonewall or cover it up, because that will just dig (not Digg) you in deeper.
  • The second aspect of communication here is that you can avoid a lot of social blunders by knowing your audience – and you do that by communicating with them, being part of the community and testing the market or at least preparing the way with good announcements up front, then a test version which people can visit and comment on, before you launch that new feature or product.

Secondly, (which is really third, since I broke the communication bit down into two) it’s about people – the example about the Twitter user who became emotionally charged and did a public meltdown showed poor nettiquette and a poor appreciation for the fact that they were actually talking to people. The trouble with rapid response social software, like Twitter, is that there is little time for reflection before hitting the button – and the response can be over-the-top before you’ve had a chance to reconsider some ill-chosen words or actions.

So clearly, the appropriate way to respond is to write drafts, then do something else for a couple of minutes, and then return to the draft – if you still want to send it, go ahead, but that pause can take the heat out of an immediate response.

Thanks to Alja for passing on the link via Facebook



Comment by Alja

Good points Jerry, I completely agree! These are simple, yet effective advices that shouldn’t be too difficult too follow for any people focused company. I’m especially puzzled by how few companies actually acknowledge their mistakes and apologize. A simple sorry certainly goes a long way!

Posted on March 9, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Comment by jerry

Thanks for the comment Alja – yes it is amazing how many companies ignore these points.


Posted on March 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Comment by rusnan

hai jerry .now i promotion my steam bike on my countriy . step by step i want to build the comunity of steam bike engine on idonesia . i invite you to leave command on my pege comunity . here it is http://sepeda.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/r-nan. i ve been your command to support all my friend on indonesia . thangs alot jerry

Posted on June 22, 2009 at 10:39 pm

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