Can One Wrong Tweet, Facebook Post or Any Other Similar Social Media Content Mistake Really Hurt Your Business?

By on March 28, 2011
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The question on everyone’s mind this week is – can one wrong move on your social media pages hurt your business forever? It’s a great question, with an answer you probably don’t want to hear.

The answer of course, is yes. One wrong tweet or post can severely damage your business. That’s why social media monitoring is so important, and why social responsibility is such a hot topic at the moment.

Do you combine your business and personal personas online? Do you drastically limit what you say as a business? These questions and more are moving to the forefront of every social media strategist’s mind. And here it is, the number one problem with publishing a statement, idea or opinion that could end up harming your business…


Cross Promotion

Like any good marketer you’ve linked up all of your social media pages. When you add a Facebook post it’s published on your Twitter profile. You have a live Twitter stream on your website, your blog and your LinkedIn page. They are all connected, so when you publish a bad post on one platform – say hello to instant mass distribution.

Yes, it matters how many of your accounts are linked, and how large your following has become. It also matters how long you’ve left that dud post up on your complete social media profile. The point is, if you’ve managed to upset your followers somehow, you’re going to have to go into damage control mode.


One Mistake That Might Really Hurt Your Business

Depending on your industry, mistakes come in all shapes and sizes. A bad decision, a poor choice or an angry statement – all of these could have long term effects for the reputation of your business online. It is your number 1 concern to keep your business image intact on the internet.

If most of your business comes from online revenue, then you need to be extra careful. That’s not to say that a corporate ‘real-world’ giant can’t get hurt from online rumours and bad publicity – they certainly can (ask Nestle). Here are some basic tips on how to avoid one wrong comment from destroying your online rep.


1. Your Social Media Strategist

If you’re not taking an active interest in what your business is saying online, then you might find a world of problems heading your way soon. Be careful who you hire to manage your social media pages, make sure they’re professional and knowledgeable.


2. Keep ‘Funny’ on Your Personal Pages

There’s nothing endearing about a business that suddenly thinks posting funny cat Youtube videos on their profiles is going to somehow increase their likeability. As a business everything you post should be clean and professional.


3. Make The Right Choices in The Real World

If your social media pages are a true reflection of the way you do business, then be careful of the decisions that you make in the real world. A bad product, or a new direction for your business might send your current followers into a frenzy.

The truth is, one little tweet or post is probably not going to hurt your business that badly, if you manage it properly. That’s why you need to learn the art of online reputation management. Everyone makes mistakes. Just make sure yours are fixed fast and handled professionally. It doesn’t hurt to get a bit of a wake up call now and then – it matters what you do, always!

What one thing do you think could really damage a business online? Tell us below?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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