4 Ways to Avoid a Social Media Black Eye

Bethany Sterzer

February 23, 2013

For many businesses, social media can feel as awkward as Smalls’ first experience learning how to play baseball in the movie, The Sandlot. We all know that we need to keep our “eye on the ball”­ of lead generation through engagement with our target audience.

But unfortunately, social media marketing often means some trial and error—a few dropped balls and even some blatant missed catches. These growing pains are unavoidable. But, the sickening thwak! of a baseball that is obviously flying into your company’s social media eye can definitely be averted.

Here are four ways your company can avoid such a painful collision; a social media black eye:

Be Aware

Miss that flying ball whizzing at your head—stay up with current trends and news items. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by showing ignorance to local or global events. Take a look at this tweet from American Rifleman soon after the Aurora shooting: “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” Be sensitive to tragedies and comment on the tragedy, if necessary, with respect.

Stay Active

If you really want to be able to keep pace with new media marketing, you need to be in social media shape. Avoid that stitch in your side as you run for home base— ensure daily activity on your online assets. Don’t let weeks go by without posting. Consistency is key.

Be a Team Player

Transparency in social media is imperative. It’s what your audience expects and deserves. Don’t give them watered down versions of the truth—be upfront and honest. The public will take note and be more willing to listen to you in the future. This is especially true when it comes to negative online comments. Don’t be afraid of responding and owning up to your mistakes.

Keep Control of the Playbook

Leaking team secrets to opponents will only ruin your game. Keep control of all of your online assets by creating aliases that manage your Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ pages. Tie your Twitter, blog and other online accounts to a generic company email address—not to a specific employee’s email address. Keeping personal and individual accounts separate from your company’s online assets will eliminate the likelihood of a disgruntled former employee accessing your accounts and will ensure a smooth transition for future hires.

With time, Smalls’ eye healed and he learned to play a decent game of baseball. If he can do it, believe me, you can as well—go knock your social media presence out of the park!