Investor’s Business Daily recently asked me for advice about how businesses can handle cringe-worthy social media mistakes. The article brings together various PR pros and CEOs to offer their suggestions on the topic.

Before you click away and read the article, remember that while your business, its employees, thoughts and messages are now visible to the public, it’s ok to make a “mistake”.  So when this happens, the next best thing to do is acknowledge it and be honest and open with your community.

If you’ve built an engaged following online, they will step in to support you during good times and bad. There will always be troublemakers, naysayers, complainers, haters and they like trying to make things worse than they are — businesses tend to hyper focus on them. It’s lack of communication that drives the fans using social media crazy.

If certain conversations do get out of hand, navigate the conversation to an offline email or phone call and handle it that way. As with all things PR, have a crisis plan in place. Here’s a quick summary of points:

  • Pay the toll
  • Cement your base
  • Simmer down
  • Admit the stumble
  • Line up
  • Take off your jacket
  • Shift
  • Laugh tactfully
  • Keep talking
  • Read the article

-Dan, TGPR