Hypothetical situation: You own your own business. Maybe it’s a public relations and marketing agency with a rebellious side and a deep understanding of social media. Maybe it’s not. As we said, this is fiction.
Not only does your company have a stellar reputation and eye-catching website, but also the social media presence to match. It’s no surprise that social media is your “thing.” You were, like, the second Twitter user or something, and you understand how big a faux pas
it is to “like” your own Facebook status (even though you’re hilarious). Seriously, you know what’s up. Hypothetically
But there’s one problem with your social media: your mom.
She “likes” every Facebook update your company posts. Every. Single. One.
Don’t get us wrong, you love your mom in this “imaginary situation.” She’s basically a badass. She makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches and has great taste in movies. On a busy day, she brings you lunch from one of your favorite hypothetical restaurants. She even gave you your light blond locks. Or whatever color your hair is. This is about you
, after all.
You like your mom’s “liking.” But you have a professional reputation to uphold. It was cute the first time and supportive the few times after that. But now it just looks silly. Something has to be done.
You could start deleting all the posts with the “Mom Likes” (official term), but after a while, people might notice that, too. So you decide to be direct. You sit your mom down and have a talk with her. The kind of talk you see on an episode of “Full House
.” You explain that while you appreciate her support and enthusiasm, she’s making you look a teeny bit unprofessional. It’s similar to how she often reminded you to say “thank you” before you had a chance, even though you were 16 years old and perfectly well-mannered.
And that’s it. Like the boss that you are, you’ve prevented a social media crisis. You’re a hypothetical genius, and you deserve a hypothetical drink. Or a real drink. No one wants a hypothetical drink.
Facebook Mom Issues are easy to manage—and other social media crises can be as well, if you’re prepared. Here is some (motherly) advice.
While it’s often a perk that social media posts are made in real time, sometimes it can backfire. Set up alerts so you know when someone mentions you on social platforms. If you own a company, train and enable your team to respond to negative posts. You can quickly minimize the situation before it escalates if you’re on your game.
How you respond to negative media says a lot about your business. Don’t delete an angry user’s post. Instead, use your customer service skills and apologize for the situation. Be genuine. Be transparent. Be the bigger person. Use creativity and your resources to rebuild that relationship. Turn the negative situation into a positive opportunity.
for potential social media crises. The first step when plunging into social media is to determine your strategy—in writing. That strategy should include a section dedicated to crisis management, including potential crisis scenarios, protocol for response, and a breakdown of responsibilities for responding.
Most often, a post on social media escalates to a full-fledged crisis because companies don’t handle it well and word travels fast. It’s not too late. If you’re active on social media and don’t have a documented strategy, do it now
. You’ll be happy you did.
People are going to talk about you whether or not you’re on social media, so kudos to you for understanding the importance of an online presence. Obviously, you can’t control what others have to say on the Internet, but you can handle these situations in a professional manner.
See that? No matter how hard we try, our moms (or hypothetical moms, as the case may be) are always teaching us lessons.
Kellie Bramlet is an account executive at the Black Sheep Agency in Houston. She thinks her boss' mom is rad, despite the occasional Facebook faux pas. A version of this story first appeared on the Black Sheep blog.