How can you avoid social media blunders?

Posted on July 13, 2015


It’s just a fact that in the modern day, small businesses to large multinationals make use of social media in order to gain customers.

It’s always advisable to think about your online reputation management when using social networking platforms. It’s very easy to post a Facebook update that isn’t very well placed, or react in a very heated way to criticism from a customer. It’s just common sense really, but there are examples where social media blunders have been detrimental to business:

Alienating local customers

Ultimately, your first concern, especially if you’re a small business, is ensuring that your customers and potential customers from the local area are well cared for. A prime example of how social media use can go wrong in terms of this is, is when a Hackney pub tweeted that they were closed for the night with #WelcomeToHackney, following a teenager seeking refuge in the pub after being attacked. When asked about the situation by a neighbouring business, the pub responded with:

“Some kid got stabbed over the road and decided to run into ours. Great look for our first week.”

Needless to say, this resulted in many outraged tweets and comments on Facebook and the pub had to apologise. Posting in such a way – especially in your first week – is not a very good way to boost your image!

Facebook meltdowns

A US bakery which appeared on ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’ was subject to a lot of negative feedback and criticism on Yelp and following trying to fend off the comments on Facebook, a thread was created on Reddit. The response from the bakery was far from dignified, being typed in capitals:


This is a lesson in how keeping your cool is vital.

Insulting your customers

A restaurant in Hull hit headlines in March following an anti-gay response to a lesbian woman via Facebook. Following a visit to the restaurant, the woman left a one-star review for the restaurant on their Facebook Page.

After listing a number of LGBT+ venues in the city, the restaurant’s owner responded with:

“We now understand why you leave such a low star, it’s usual as I understand.”

By doing this the restaurant had related the woman’s sexuality with the criticism she had left, leaving her appalled by the restaurant.

There are ways you can avoid situations such as these, beyond using common sense. Respond to issues proactively, in a positive manner, and remember that your reputation is at stake with every post you make, ensure that everything you post is respectful, and can’t be misinterpreted. If nothing more, the examples above should really show all businesses that having a robust reputation management strategy is important.


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