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How to Respond to a Social Media Faux Pas

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Social media faux pas happen, but it’s important that you understand the rules of the game and respond to any mistakes in a thoughtful manner.

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You’re sharing a cool link on Twitter, but the link is incorrect; you’re posting information about an awesome new listing you just secured, but you wrote that the listing has four bedrooms, instead of three; you took a great photo to share on Instagram, but your caption contained a spelling error.

Social media is a vibrant, ever-changing entity, and inevitably, mistakes will occur. The question, though, is how, as a real estate professional, you can respond to those mistakes without sacrificing your clients and social media followers? Here are three tips to consider:

1. Respond in a Careful, Measured Manner – Should you make a mistake on a social media site, the last thing you want to do is respond in a knee-jerk, impulsive manner, particularly if someone points out the mistake. Though it is certainly true that, given social media’s popularity, somebody could stumble across your profile and write an unpleasant thing, you do not want to fight fire with fire; instead, be polite and professional in your acknowledgement of the mistake. As Jessica Stillman wrote on Inc., “Many times businesses are not prepared to handle a social media mistake and they only exacerbate the situation by responding quickly and inappropriately. Its better to take an extra moment to deliver a carefully worded, and measured response to your community.”

2. Acknowledge the Mistake – Notice that we wrote how you should acknowledge your mistake, rather than slyly deleting it and pretending it never happened. Social media, with few exceptions, is a public enterprise, and professionals and businesses alike thrive in social media when they establish a trust between them and their audience; therefore, what’s worse than betraying that trust, deleting a flawed message/post, and pretending it never happened? Which brings us to point three…

3. Moving On – Don’t dwell on your mistakes; in fact, embrace them! Making light of your mistakes, correcting them with a follow-up post/message and moving on with more great content is the perfect way to resume business as usual, while bolstering your existing fan base. It’s somewhat a cliché, but mistakes often present opportunities, and social media sites are, if anything, creatures of opportunity!

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