Mistakes Happen In Social Media

“I’m having a social media meltdown. Someone take my admin privileges away.”

Those words flew from my mouth earlier this week.

If you manage any sort of social media accounts for your church or organization, you’ve probably had that moment where you realized you sent a personal message through a corporate account. And if you’re like me, there’s a moment of panic that overwhelms you until you’ve come up with a quick plan to make it right.

My most recent offence wasn’t all that major. I meant to send a tweet about the upcoming Lego Movie from my personal account. (The trailer is great. You really should watch it.)

Instead it went out through the Church Juice account.

In an effort to let people know this was an accident, I sent a follow up tweet saying I was sorry for posting the Logo trailer and I meant to do it through my personal account.

At least I thought it was through the Church Juice account. It turns out I sent it from my personal account. Twice. Until finally I got everything straightened out and tweeted it from Church Juice.

Friends, this will likely happen to you the longer you manage accounts. If it does, here are a few things to consider when trying to make things right.

Take a second to ask, “How bad is this really?” Often time we get freaked out by a mistake and just want to fix it.

In this situation, sending out a tweet from the Church Juice account about the Lego Movie isn’t that big of a deal. Is it off topic? Yes. Does it feel random? Yes. But would folks in our Church Juice community enjoy it? Yes. In fact this mistaken tweet got more traction than some of my intentional ones.

If I would have taken a breath and not gone directly into fix it mode, things probably would have been fine. There was no real need to point out we made a mistake. The only one who really knew was me.

Deleting doesn’t solve everything. In the real time of social media, especially Twitter, just deleting the post doesn’t mean it’s gone. They live on through third party applications, like Hootsuite, which downloads tweets and doesn’t make changes to what’s happened in the past. Plus there’s a good chance someone saw the post before you had a chance to take it down.

But deleting might be necessary. If you make a bigger mistake than I did and post something that’s inappropriate for you audience or just so far off topic it seems weird, it might be right to delete it.

But remember social media is about transparency. If you get too delete happy too often, people will start to wonder if they can trust you.

Follow up your post with an explanation.

If you make a mistake, admit it. Send out a follow up post explaining what happened. If it’s something fairly minor, have fun with it. We all make mistakes.

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