5 Tips on How to Avoid Social Media Disasters


Social media is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and expand the reach of your brand. However, some brands fail to realize the power of social media and how getting content wrong can damage a reputation.

The potential for disasters is easy to minimize, especially if you follow these tips.

  1. Keep Control Of Your Social Media Platforms

The first tip is to ensure you have control of your brand’s social media accounts. Too many brands don’t have a master record of usernames and passwords, and this can be a disaster when disgruntled employees leave.

HMV discovered this after sacking the staff who had the keys to Twitter, and the HMV profile was subsequently flooded with angry comments.

  1. Check Why Hashtags Are Trending

Don’t ever incorrectly use a trending hashtag to advertise your products/services. Many brands have accidently done this when viral hashtags were related to domestic abuse, political uprising, natural disasters and terrorism. All these brands received heavy criticism.

Always ensure you know why a hashtag is being used and don’t shoehorn your brand into a message just because it is trending – make it relevant.

  1. Check Your Work

Spelling mistakes on social media5 are common and when infrequent will often be ignored. But when you have numerous errors throughout your social media6 campaigns – audiences will notice and complain. Double check your work at every stage to make sure your content is accurate.

  1. Consider The Opinions Of Your Audience

McDonald’s had a bad social media7 experience when they asked their customers to post stories about their experiences. While they wanted positive engagements, they got a lot of negative comments; including fingernails in food and stories of potential food poisoning.

The campaign was ended; but that hasn’t stopped the hashtag: #McDStories from continuing.

  1. Respond To Brand Mentions Appropriately

More customers than ever are turning to social media8 to vent anger when brands make mistakes. Be sure your response is professional and check for mistakes. By sending disappointed customers to the wrong page will only anger them and lead to lots of negative attention.

United Airways discovered this when they accidently sent an unhappy customer the wrong link.


Social media9 disasters can happen. You can minimize the chance of a social media10 disaster occurring in your business by following the tips above.

Finally, the best tip of all is to carefully consider what you are publishing and how people might respond. If there is a chance of a negative reaction – it’s best for your brand to find something else to publish.

What tips do you have for avoiding social media11 disasters? What strategies do you use to respond to potential errors?

Let me know in the comments below.

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