The trending topic on twitter today has consistently been The #Oscars2013 from last night. If you didn’t watch it, continue your reading somewhere else on the interweb. An estimated 8.9 million tweets circulated the world during the event.

Did every tweet have a positive impact? Of course not!

The official Onion Twitter account tweeted a harsh message about 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis that has many people lashing back at them. Yes their satire has entertained us for years, but this one was different.

Recovering from Social Media blundersIn a perfect world, we would remember mother’s advice at all times when she said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But reality is that we all have messed up a time or two.

I have been following the Onion today and I respect the way they have handled the situation. They have maintained their reputation in a professional manner. Many companies may face a similar, probably not as drastic, situation, and here are some tips to get you back on track:

Overcoming Social Media Blunders

  1. Delete it. Get that thing down as soon as you can! I hope this one is self-explanatory. (Now if it was an angry consumer post on your page, do NOT delete it. I’ll address this another day.)Overcoming Social Media mistakes on Twitter
  2. Respond. The Onion released a formal apology today about the “crude and offensive” tweet. Do not try to ignore your mistakes. If you aren’t responding to it, someone else is. And that isn’t always a good thing for your business.
  3. Interact.  Now’s your chance to interact and show that change will take place. Make yourself available to talk about new policies or regulations. Let them see what you’re doing to change!
  4. Move on. Don’t dwell on the subject for too long. There comes a time when you need to move on. Accept what has happened and commit to using  better strategies  for social media in the future.

Social Media can be a great way to connect with the world around you. Whether it’s during the Oscars or at work when you’re bored, remember this.. Mother knows best!

Jamie Bates