The Internet is an insatiable beast. It needs fodder to keep churning out giggles, laughs, tears and of course, outrage. For the most part the faux content machine of the net churns out shareable content at a breakneck pace. These take care of everything, including outrage, usually made up of something that, like all good content is designed to get you to react and share/respond.
Beyond the contrived content, there are the poor individuals and companies that get caught in the machine either by their own ineptitude or unfortunate circumstance and misunderstanding. The social web is unforgiving and deadly fast.
One errant statement, poorly timed post or tweet can set off a chain reaction that will be difficult if not impossible to stop or correct.
How to mitigate your exposure
You can’t foolproof all your messaging but you can do some things to avoid falling into the dark pool of haters.
- Don’t use satire unless you’re known for it. Brands and individuals who are usually serious by nature who venture into satire risk being taken seriously, for the wrong reason.
- Be culturally aware. Make sure you check for sensitivities for holidays, the news right now, current memes and anything else that might trip you up.
- Image aware. Not long ago a vendor showed me a logo designs for a product whose initials had 2 S’s in it. More than half the designs looked very close to a symbol used by a certain military unit during World War II.
- Make sure you know your history. As in #3 above, not knowing what has happened in the past can cause you much pain.
- Share before posting. If your not sure, share it with others first. It’s amazing how someone else’s view of your message will differ drastically from what you intended.
Communicating your intent is a challenging proposition and social media can be your friend or your worst nightmare. You can’t be safe all the time but taking common sense precautions can help keep you out of that dark place.
What are your thoughts?