Every few months, a big company finds itself on the news because of an ill-timed or poorly-worded social media update. While these blunders can be funny, they can also be damaging to a company’s image. Don’t allow a tweet, status update, or Instagram picture ruin your company’s reputation!

How can you keep these mistakes from happening to you? Here are some common mistakes and how you can avoid them:

Problem: Treating social media as an announcement page.
Solution: Remember that social media platforms are interactive. You need to interact with your customers by replying to their tweets and adding personality to your posts. Balance replies with announcements to give your pages a more human characteristic. Don’t just respond to positive feedback, either. Make sure you don’t ignore customers who are trying to point you towards improvements.

Problem: Ignoring (or even deleting) criticism.
Solution: The worst thing you can do to customers is ignore or delete their negative comments. Doing so comes off as very fishy behavior that causes customers to be more aggressive with their criticism. Treat negative feedback as an opportunity to show your quick and proactive customer relations strategies. Reply that you’re thankful for their message and you’re working tirelessly to improve your services.

Problem: Repetitive posts across different platforms.
Solution: Reword your updates depending on the social media website you’re using. If you’re posting on LinkedIn, you may want to use more formal words. For Twitter and Facebook, being casual and engaging works even better. If you’re also on Tumblr and Pinterest, use images to deliver information. Tailoring your updates according to the website attracts your target demographic.

Social media is a powerful tool. It gives customers instant and real-time access to your company. The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to this strategy. Embrace social media! Any blunders you could commit are very avoidable. Minding your social media presence will reap favorable results while avoiding bad publicity.