For many of us, social media is as engrained within our lives as that all-important morning cup of tea. As such, it can be easy to overlook the importance of sharing with care. However, in today’s world, attitudes and approaches are changing at an ever-increasing pace. None of us knows what the future holds, which is why a responsible approach to what we detail online is vital.
This attitude shouldn’t just apply to brand channels, but personal ones too. Contrary to popular belief, the two personas are not entirely exclusive. What is shared via an individual’s own accounts can reflect negatively upon a business, and vice versa.
So, before diving head-first into sensitive territory, here are a few considerations which might just help you to avoid a social media crisis in the making:
Maybe it was a flippant reference to politics or a barely considered comment about environmental issues, the news cycle of late has shown that past opinions can quite quickly have significant repercussions.
While we must all still be able to share our feelings, carefully contemplating how and where this takes place can never be taken too seriously.
Trust us – your future self will thank you for it!
Interpretation is always impacted by context. And naturally, over time, this will change. With social media and other online channels potentially hosting content for an indefinite period, it is important to think about how this could influence the way that a message is perceived.
After all, our thoughts and circumstances at age 20 are highly unlikely to reflect those at age 40. But the chances are that somewhere, those posts are saved and accessible to someone.
Behaving responsibly now, could save some incredibly uncomfortable consequences many years down the line.
Aim for accuracy
Fake news is common knowledge, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy to spot.
Everyone, news outlets included, has an agenda. Remaining vigilant to this is essential if individuals and brands are to maintain a respectable presence online.
If you are sharing or commenting on an article or situation, make sure that you gain insight from more than one reputable source. This way, you are more likely to project an informed picture of a circumstance or event rather than a rash response you may live to regret.
‘If in doubt, leave it out’
A favourite saying of ours and one that has, to this day, never failed us.
Instinct is often surprisingly accurate. If it feels uncomfortable or risky, it is usually a sign that something is best avoided.
If the urge is still there, at the very least, ensure that you gain some reputable advice. The option to delete a comment, no matter how much you regret it, does not take away the fact that it was made in the first place.
What’s more, these days, technology allows for comments to by captured and stored by other users. This means that remarks can still be shared, long after they appear to have been removed.
If all else fails, know when to say sorry. If there’s one thing people hate more than someone who’s made a mistake, it’s a person who refuses to accept accountability for their actions.
But, if you’ve reached this stage, learn from past mistakes and seek reputable advice first. The very last thing that you need is a badly worded apology which doesn’t address the issue correctly. This can quite easily take the situation from bad to worse.
At Open Comms we maintain and monitor client social channels day in day out. So we like to think that we know a thing or two about presenting a positive picture for brands and businesses.
Whether it’s a company Twitter page, LinkedIn profile or Instagram feed, we can take the stress out of social media.