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Social Media Post Fails: How Will You Handle the Heat?

Social Media Post Fails: How Will You Handle the Heat?


It happens to the best of us — sometimes the things that we post on social media just don’t get the reaction we want them to. This can be problematic when a company misses the mark and is flooded with negative comments, or when there’s a lack of any reaction at all from the intended audience. Though having a social media flop is unfortunate, there are some steps that you can take to recover from the failed post and get your social media strategy back on track for maximum engagement.

When Social Media Posts Fail

No matter how solid your social media strategy is, your company will most likely encounter a social post that didn’t get quite the traction you were hoping for. There are a few different types of failed social media posts. 

Sometimes your followers will find the post content silly or irrelevant, they won’t like the ad image or they just won’t “get” the social media campaign you’ve launched for a new product or service. Your followers might respond negatively to it if they don’t understand, or they won’t react at all and you’ll miss out on getting exposure. 

There are also more serious social media flops when companies unintentionally offend consumers because they haven’t done their research or they aren’t aware of the connotations involved with their content. This can happen when companies use a trending hashtag inappropriately or develop a message that references a controversial topic. 

Steps for Recovering from a Social Media Post Fail

A company’s reaction to their social media flop is a reflection on the brand, so it’s important to prepare and carefully respond to failed social posts regardless of the situation. Companies can use the steps below to address and evaluate the issue: 

1. Investigate why the post failed.

What in particular did people dislike about the post? Was it the image or the copy? Perhaps they don’t agree with or understand the product or service. Determine what it is that people do not like, and use this as a starting point for addressing the flop. 

2. Take any immediate steps necessary.

If the failed social post is something that needs immediate attention, such as an inappropriate hashtag or content that has been deemed offensive, take immediate action. Quickly acknowledge your mistake and apologize, if necessary. If it is something that your company needs to fix, be very transparent to your followers about the changes you will take to make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

3. Monitor comments on the post and your page.

Managing responses on your social networks is an important part of your social media engagement strategy. In the case of a failed post, this means closely and consistently monitoring comments, especially once you realize the post is a flop. Don’t take comments too personally or respond with anything that may be perceived as angry or negative. Try to answer any questions that your followers ask, and reward positive comments. 

4. Like and reply to positive comments.

When someone posts something positive, don’t be afraid to like it! You can also respond to any praise with a quick thank you. Not only does this help highlight the encouraging messages, but the engagement can help promote positive brand image. 

5. Evaluate and move forward.

The best way to deal with a social flop is to learn from the experience and use what you have learned as you continue to develop social media campaigns. Start by identifying any actions you can take now to remedy the issue. Then, address the flop at your next marketing meeting and ask for the team’s feedback on how to avoid similar issues in the future.

Don’t Get Burned — Come Up with a Plan!

Having a plan for how to respond to failed social posts is an important strategy to ensure your social media engagement doesn’t falter. By knowing what actions to take after a social media flop, you can minimize the damage, learn from the experience and use it as a lesson to improve future social media efforts.