Can I Delete This Tweet: How to Avoid Social Media Fails

An ongoing conversation today revolves around who should run your social media accounts. We’ve all seen job ads targeted at entry level social media junkies, but is that who you want representing your brand to an audience of millions?

The answer is no.

You’re probably thinking, “But who knows more about social media than millennials?” It’s true: Millennials have more experience with social media than others since they were practically raised on it. But knowing how to Snapchat your dinner or create witty Twitter hashtags doesn’t mean you’re well-groomed to be a social media expert.

Do these so-called experts know what to do when a customer sends them a frustrated tweet? Do they know customers expect instant communication when they have an issue and yet seven out of eight customer messages remain unanswered for an average of 72 hours?

Your social media presence is a direct reflection of your brand; you can’t risk putting your reputation in the hands of amateurs.

Why Your Social Media Needs Expert Care

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Social Media Experts Need to Communicate Across Departments

When the social media manager comes across a customer service or marketing related issue, that message needs to be delivered to the right person. If you put this responsibility in the wrong hands, you’re missing valuable opportunities for your team to work together to develop a solution.

If the social media manager is in the marketing department, they might not know how to handle situations involving customers. Having someone capable of relaying these issues to the proper departments is necessary for remaining professional and keeping your customers happy.

Jimmy John’s demonstrates this idea perfectly on their Twitter account. Here is one of their cleverer tweets:

Even when replying to disappointed customers, Jimmy John’s stays on brand with its humor while also making sure the customer knows the complaint is important to them.

Having a third-party manage your social accounts (which is common practice for brands like Jimmy John’s) is an asset. They act as the bridge between marketing and customer service while making it a seamless experience for the user.

Social Media Has Best Practice Guidelines You Need to Know

While their accounts may be entertaining, your teenager, the receptionist, or even your own marketing team aren’t fit to run your social accounts. There are rules and best practices for companies on social media that they won’t know since they’ve never had to work with them before.

This hole becomes apparent when a hastily made Facebook ad gets flagged for violating guidelines. For example, when running a subscription ad, you must include a link in your landing page that takes the user to your privacy policy. Leaving out something as simple as this wastes money and time to fix it. Or, if the image isn’t the right size or is busy with text, your ad will suffer. These are parts of the job professionals know how to navigate.

Along these same lines, social media takes more than just a smartphone addiction to master. Creativity is a huge aspect that makes brands personable and approachable. Experts know what type of content promotes interaction and that an oversaturation of posts turns people away from your page.

Changes Are Frequent in Social Media

If you’re juggling other responsibilities along with your social media, you won’t have enough time to learn every new change, platform, and update. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat constantly add new features that can be a true asset to your brand when used to their fullest.

For example, Instagram has a bunch of new features in the past two years, including Instagram Stories and an upcoming scheduling feature. Your expert social media manager will figure out how your brand can use these features while staying on top of the best practices on how to use them.

Once Your Reputation Is Tarnished, It’s Hard to Repair

If you don’t have the right person running your social media, the damage to your reputation can be difficult to repair and it certainly won’t happen overnight. You can turn off loyal customers with one poorly thought out tweet and cost your company thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye.

Look at this social media blunder by the U.S. State Department’s Consular of Affairs:

This was part of a series of tweets shared in 2016 to raise awareness about some of the dangers of international travel. Unfortunately, they did so with a series of tweets making fun of the appearances of Americans. Not surprisingly, those who read the tweets were offended and complained to the State Department, who then promptly removed them and issued an apology.

The saving grace for the State Department is that they’re not trying to sell anything, so they can’t taint their brand with these social media mistakes. Your business doesn’t have that luxury. A tasteless joke or a misinterpreted fact can turn off your brand to your audience. And if it’s someone’s first impression of you, you risk losing them forever.

Social Media Experts Don’t Need to Rush

When you don’t have a designated social media expert, you can get so busy that you just put up posts and get back to the rest of the work piling up on your desk.

But in haste, mistakes are made. Imagine updating your brand’s Instagram with a personal photo instead of the professional picture of your marketing team. Now a photo of your friends and you drinking pints at the bar shows up on all your followers’ feeds. The results could be disastrous, not to mention embarrassing.

Experts, on the other hand, are exclusively dedicated to social media, which means they match each social media post to your standards. So, while you’re working on nurturing your leads and sealing deals, they’re growing your social media reach with a steady flow of engaging posts.

As you can see, there are many ways that social media can go wrong. Delegating the job to an inexpensive college student or an intern may be tempting for your wallet but when you look at what you stand to lose, the bargain option becomes far less appealing.

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