What are your obsessive compulsive tendencies? We all have them. Well, maybe not all of us, but a lot of people I know are very particular about certain things (myself included). It is true that all my DVDs must be in alphabetical order and if they are out of order I notice immediately. It is also true that I hate when Facebook tells me I have a notification, when in fact I do not and the little number (1) just won’t go away! I also can’t stand when the front windshield wipers of a car and the back windshield wipers are not in sync. Yes, I also have to reprint a piece of paper if I accidentally highlighted one word too many. Okay so I’m weird and I accept that. One thing I have learned from working in social media though is that you can’t be obsessive compulsive about everything.
For some things, it’s okay to be a little crazy. For others, it’s not. So many companies are obsessed with being perfect on social media. Anytime there is a small typo or a broken link the companies freak out and try to delete it immediately before anyone notices. I guess they assume it will look poorly on the company if they say “its” instead of “it’s” by mistake. Sure, someone is bound to comment pointing out the mistake and maybe even make fun of you a little, but would that be the worst thing in the world?
Even though they are treated that way by law, corporations are not people. They are run by people. Sorry to shatter the illusion but there is no person named “Walmart” updating their Facebook page. It is likely Joe, from the Walmart marketing department. Joe is a regular person and regular people make mistakes. If Joe writes “its” instead of “it’s” it may not look like he is the most attentive but it certainly won’t reflect poorly on the entire organization. Social media is all about being transparent. If you make a mistake there is no need to hide it. Instead just write “Oops! My mistake!” In my opinion, it is a better strategy to laugh at the mistake with your fans instead of panic on the inside and try to find a way to cover it up.
There have been lots of companies that have made mistakes on social media. One of the more recent mistakes that comes to mind was by the American Red Cross. An employee from the American Red Cross tweeted the following: