“To err is human; to forgive, divine”

To Err is Human.1To Err is Human.1

To Err.1.1

Guest Blogger: Mallie Hart

“To err is human; to forgive, divine”

Many, oh my – EVER so many – a digital marketer has made a mistake. I’d dare say it’s impossible to take part in social media or digital marketing without making a mistake. The rapid changes that are part and parcel of digital marketing make it easy to misstep and even sometimes blunder.

While mistakes are inevitable, how we react to a mistake is anything but. Response and reaction have to be:

  • timely

  • honest

  • genuine

  • meaningful

  • appropriate

The more immediate your response to a mess up, the better, of course. Timeliness in dealing with a mistake is crucial. The longer you let a mistake go unfixed, the more bad and negative feelings can fester.

However, before you jump into a quick fix, you must consider the other key elements of proper response.

Responding in a less than honest way will only add to your negative press. Passing the buck or playing the game blame don’t make you look good. Your customer wants an honest and open response. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your audience. They know you’ve messed up and they’re looking for your to make it right.

You don’t have to give away industry secrets while you’re being honest. Instead, candidly admit to the mistake or negative issue and share a genuine apology. Again, genuine is key. Your audience is intelligent and digitally savvy, they can suss out insincerity with ease. Genuine always works better when dealing with a mistake.

Your apology for the mistake also must be appropriate. You don’t want to spend more time and money on the fix than is necessary, yet, nor should you engage in cheap or quick fixes.  Consider the potential impact of the mistake and then consider the appropriate apologetic action and then act accordingly.

It’s the human factor of social media marketing that makes it truly social. It’s that same humanity that makes us prone to the occasional error.  It’s important to remain human when we deal with errors and mistakes, lest we create a lasting negative and less than social impression of our brand, business and digital presence.



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