How many times have you read a tweet, blog, website or email and wondered exactly what the author meant? The world of instant communication and social media marketing requires the ability to translate opinions, emotions, values and ideas into text, sometimes in 140 characters or less.
Read, read, and re-read your post
There is nothing more embarrassing…or damaging, than sending out a social media post with errors in it. Usually it’s just a typo, but it can change the message completely. Depending on your organization, errors can undermine the professionalism, authority, and credibility of the entire business. Avoid errors by taking the time to read, read, and re-read your post BEFORE you click Send.
A little grammar, please
If you tweet on behalf of a business, institution, or organization, it can be a challenge to speak in a professional voice expected by your audience, using 140 characters or less. We are bombarded by a generation that talks, texts, and posts using shortened words and phrases, but please don’t let this lingo into your professional communications. Take the extra characters and spell words in full, and use proper grammar whenever possible.
It’s not uncommon for social media strategists to be managing multiple accounts on each social media outlet. A social media dashboard can be an effective and efficient way to manage multiple accounts and avoid personal and professional confusion. Dashboards, however, can lead to accidental posts to incorrect accounts.
If you notice that you’ve made an error or inaccurate post, you CAN delete it.
On Twitter, the Delete option will appear when you hover over your tweet. Your tweet may still appear in the twitter search for awhile, but it will clear shortly.
You cannot, however, delete a post off someone else’s timeline, so if your message has been re-tweeted, you will not be able to retract it.
Posts on Facebook can also be deleted. On Facebook’s new Timeline, the Edit or Remove menu will appear when your mouse hovers over the top right-hand corner of the post.
Once in awhile, regrettable posts happen. In those rare instances, quick wit might just smooth over a potential disaster. In 2011, The Red Cross experienced this when a staffer accidentally posted the following message:
The Red Cross recognized the rogue tweet, deleted it, and responded with quick wit:
The Red Cross’ accidental tweet about “getting slizzard,” got the attention of Dogfish Head beer. They noticed, they made a donation to the Red Cross, and in turn, people started donating because of it.
Don’t let a culture of instant communication ruin your message, your business, or your brand. A confused customer is a lost customer. We need to take time to ensure that the information you want to send is what your audience actually receives.