Coping With a Social Media Catastrophe

When you start up a new business, jumping on the social media bandwagon is a given; it’s free advertising – perfect! But what happens when it goes wrong, and how do you handle it?

Last week Hootsuite had an absolute nightmare with its dashboard. For the whole of Wednesday users reported continued problems with viewing their scheduled tweets, slowness of the Social Mediadashboard, and inability to tweet with their service.

Being with Hootsuite, we had to take some measures to ensure we kept contact with our users, and still reached out to them despite the malfunctioning technology. Granted it was much more time consuming, but your followers will thank you in the long run! Here’s a list of the best ways to handle a social media meltdown.

Respond Quickly

Immediate action is always needed! When Hootsuite went down, we tweeted the problem to our followers so they were aware. You never know, they might use it too and be grateful for the information.

Post as soon as the incident happens, as the longer you leave it the more likely it is that you’ll miss a tweet from one of your followers, and they won’t thank you for not replying! The sooner you explain the situation, the sooner your followers will accept your difficulties, and the more forgiving they will be if you’re unable to respond to the odd tweet.

Admit to any errors you have made

Maybe it’s your own error that you want to right. Misspelt something in one of your tweets? Or maybe you’ve tagged the wrong person in one of your Facebook posts? Deleting it and pretending it never happened can be tempting – you might assume your users won’t have seen. But customers won’t appreciate being lied to, so the best thing to do is ‘fess up.

Write a new post acknowledging your mistake and apologise. Follow with the corrected version and your followers will appreciate the honesty! It takes guts to admit to a fault, and these things show you’re only human. When you’re building a small business this can work in your favour – customers are more likely to be able to relate to you and it will make you seem more personable.


If you put yourself out there, you might get some nasty feedback. Unfortunately this comes with the territory, but the worst thing you can do is ignore it. You need to show your followers you’re reasonable and rational when it comes to being tested. By drawing attention to the matter, users will also see the comment and see what you have to put up with!

Luckily there’s also some really nice followers who will wish you the best in your technological struggle, all you have to do here is send a quick thanks to let them know you’re listening!

Have you got any more ideas as to how to stay on top of a social media meltdown? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

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