What To Do When Things Go Wrong On Social Media: An Interview With Melissa Fach

Everyone wants to have a community, but what is it that you really need to focus on in order to set yourself up for success.

A big thanks to our Pubcon 2014 sponsor, LinkResearchTools, your off-page SEO toolkit. Link Detox: Recover – Protect – Build.

At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas I was able to catch up with Melissa Fach of Moz and Authority Labs to discuss how to build a community, as well as handle tough situations on social media.  During an average day she manages social accounts with over a million followers as well as several other accounts with 100K+ following.

Everyone wants to have a community, but what is it that you really need to focus on in order to set yourself up for success when it comes to building a strong community around you and your brand?

In the video below, Melissa shares some do’s and don’ts of community building, as well as advice for what to do when things go wrong on social media:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Social media has gone further into the realm of customer service, which helps to create core values and guiding principles for your entire team to follow.
  • Social media gives a brand consistency in regards to how things are answered, how you communicate, how you treat people, how you avoid making mistakes, and so on.
  • Once those guiding principles are established, make sure they are the same for everyone in the company. So the customer service representative on the phone should be following the same communication guidelines as the people running your social media accounts.
  • You run into problems when you don’t have guiding principles in place for when things go wrong. When you’re in a heated situation on social media it’s important to take a deep breath before you write anything.
  • When something goes wrong at one of the companies Melissa works for, their guidelines are to own up to it and apologize. People really like that, Melissa says, they don’t want the companies they’re dealing with to hide and avoid problems.
  • If you make an ill-advised post on social media, Melissa says the best course of action is to publicly apologize rather than deleting it. Everything on the web is documented, so it’s best to be honest and transparent rather than try to hide something.
  • Another strong recommendation Melissa has is to halt all communication during a time of national tragedy. You can’t control all the variables, and someone will invariably get offended over something that gets published during this time.
  • If you’re dealing with a particularly difficult individual, Melissa recommends to steer the conversation off social media. Encourage them to continue the conversation via email instead.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.