Do you check, double-check, re-check then go back and check once more before you post on your blog, before you reply to a Facebook message or before you send a Tweet? Are you scared, or even convinced that you will make an embarrassing social media mistake? Well here’s the good and the bad.
The bad news first- you are likely going to make an embarrassing social media mistake at some point.
The good news- it’s OK! We have all been there and done that, and unless you have millions of active followers your mistake is likely to go unchallenged or even unnoticed!
Take my spelling error for instance. A few months ago I sent a tweet to promote Teddy Gets a Filling. I wrote “Take a sneak peak…” luckily for me someone who doesn’t really have much to do opened a Twitter account specifically to catch this spelling error. I’m serious. Quite soon after I tweeted, I received a mention noting my mistake from @StealthMountain. Thank goodness he or she takes the time to bring this to our attention! I had to laugh when I realized the point of this account. So I had tweeted a tweet with a spelling error to over five hundred Twitter followers, plus my Facebook Fans (as the accounts are linked), so goodness knows how many people read it! Oh the horrific-ness of it! Thanks to @StealthMountain I was able to fix my goof up before it did any harm.
Speaking of harm, did you hear about @charliesheen and his major social media mistake? He thought he was replying to a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter from @justinbieber only to realize after he had sent it that he had just tweeted his personal cell phone number to over five million followers. Well played Charlie! Here’s the good news- it’s OK! You can easily have your number changed! I have tweeted back to a DM by accident too, but luckily mine didn’t get viewed by a ka-trillion people and luckily the tweet did not contain anything personal. Although wouldn’t that kind of publicity be great for The Mahadeo Movement?
When I have the time, I take part in different chats on Twitter (#dentalchat, #writerschat, #JournalChat, #chicklitchat to name a few). A few months ago, I realized ten minutes into a chat that I had forgotten to place my “#chat” onto my last six-eight tweets! No wonder no one was replying to me or paying any attention to me, they didn’t even know I was there… how embarrassing.
But not as embarrassing as what @C_AshtonKutcher said about the Penn State sex abuse scandal involving coach Jerry Sandusky, “How do you fire Jo Pa? As a Hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.” Oops… Ashton claimed to have been misinformed, but nonetheless, what he tweeted was sent to over eight million followers, and then some. The bad news is (or is it the good news?) Ashton wasn’t allowed to send out any tweets for a while.
Would you like my advice on avoiding social media goof ups?
• Take the time to get the whole story before you tell the world what your opinion is. As important as you may think your opinion is, we can wait for you to form it properly.
• Easy on the Twitter finger! Treat Twitter and all other forms of social media with a little patience. You can reply in a timely fashion, it doesn’t have to be immediately. Your followers can wait a minute for you to think through your reply. Your comments are posted instantly on these platforms and updates sent to everyone you know, and plus those you don’t know thanks to things going viral. My Mum says, “You have two ears and one mouth”, think about it.
• Learn from your mistakes. Social media goof ups happen. They happen all the time and they will happen to you. Just try not to do it again.
- Ticketmaster’s inaugural goof (politico.com)
- 10 Easy-To-Digest Small Business Social Media Tips (amsterdamprinting.com)
- 25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Twitter (blogs.constantcontact.com)