Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard about this big hurricane that tore through the East Coast last week. As the area struggled to restore basic services to citizens, the decision was made to cancel the New York City Marathon, both out of respect for those suffering and in an effort to avoid further taxing the city’s already strained resources.
Apparently, that news didn’t reach the team at Women’s Health Magazine, who posted this message to their Facebook wall on Sunday (the day the race was supposed to take place):
When a brand who sponsors a lot of events can get a calendar of all those events and pre-schedule the standard “good luck” posts for the day of the race, that seems like a no-brainer, right? I’m guessing this post was scheduled at least a month in advance and never reviewed again until someone got a nasty phone call on Sunday morning.
Any time something like this happens, marketers are usually quick to decry the use of social automation. Personally, I think scheduling is a great thing. Not managing that schedule is what gets brands into hot water.
How could this have been avoided?
- By the Brand: Schedule a 15 minute block at the end of each work day where someone from your social media team goes in and reviews the posts for the next 24-36 hours. If it’s something that doesn’t make sense to post, remove it or revert it to a draft, then review with a manager. If you can’t commit to a daily review, at least do it on Friday so you know what’s going to post over the weekend when your staff probably won’t be near a computer to run damage control.
- By the Tool: Why not add a feature that lets users schedule an email from the tool that gives a review of the next day’s (or weekend’s) posts? Something like this:
Scheduling is an awesome and powerful tool when used correctly. I don’t mean to pick on Women’s Health Magazine, because they’re certainly not the first (or the last) brand to make this mistake; I’m just making a case for adding this feature to a social media management tool, since it would help a lot of brands avoid this embarrassment. In the meantime, if your tool doesn’t offer this feature, make sure to schedule daily/weekly “review time” to keep your brand off the ever-growing lists of social media fails.
Facebook image via: PR News Online