How to bounce back from an embarrassing mistake on social media
There it was on the cover in big, bold letters. An otherwise great issue of Juice magazine, the Des Moines Register's weekly entertainment publication, about the joys of THRIFT shopping in Des Moines, Iowa had been ruined by a typo.
At the time, I was the online editor responsible for Juice's presence on the web.
So, what's an online editor to do?
Well, how you handle an error depends on the severity of the situation. Being that the magazine focuses on entertainment and has a snarky brand voice, I could get away with being light-hearted in how this error was addressed. Here's what I learned about bouncing back from errors on social media...
Don't ignore it or get defensive. Quickly acknowledge your mistakes and apologize.
Regardless of the severity of the situation, you need to OWN whatever happened and do so quickly. With social media at the fingertips of your customers and/or readers, the public conversation surrounding what you've done will build whether you like it or not. While you can't control where that conversation goes, you can at least start it with accepting responsibility for whatever it is that you have done.
Laugh at yourself before anyone else does.
Taking a cue from the Detroit Free Press, always be a good sport about these types of situations and poke fun at yourself. It takes away some of the sting of social media. (It also makes the day go by quicker. Trust me.)
You'll even get some cool points for owning your mess.
Put the extra attention to good use.
If I could change one thing about how I handled this situation, I might've asked my editor to milk this a little bit more. Maybe write a short post? "The one thing that's worse than having a typo on your front cover" or something of that nature. We hadn't relaunched Juice's newlsetter just yet, but if we had that to plug, you better believe I would've tried to loop that in somehow.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when you're addressing corrections online. I would love to hear feedback about how editors and social media managers approach addressing corrections online in other ways. Share your feedback with me!
As always, feel free to tweet me @AmeenaRasheed or write to me in the comments. I'm looking forward to your feedback.