The Aruga team shares their mistakes made and lessons learnt on social media

3 minutes read

Ever had an oh-my-god moment on social media? Perhaps you’ve posted on the wrong page, accidentally liked a comment or photo, deleted a post, or shared something private, publicly?

It’s mortifying enough when it happens on your personal profile, but the stakes are raised when you’re posting content on behalf of a brand or client.

Even comms pros make mistakes and we’ve learned some important lessons along the way.

With the wisdom gained through experience (and distance), we can now look back at our most cringeworthy social media fails, laugh, and pass on our lessons learnt.

Check your jpgs. Twice.

While at a prominent newspaper masthead, Content Director Bel was tasked with social media 101 – write a caption, find the perfect creative and post it. Promoting the annual Brisbane Zombie Walk, instead of uploading zombiewalk.jpg, which was an image of two people in exquisite zombie makeup and costumes, she posted zombie.jpg, a meme that read: “Dear Lord, please let there be a zombie apocalypse soon so I can start shooting all these mother*kers in the face”.

Insert panic.

After confessing to her Digital Editor what happened, they agreed to keep quiet and monitor for any blowback/outrage/perfectly timed screenshots from the audience. After roars of laughter continued with the Editor-in-Chief, the correct post went up with flying colours. Crisis (kinda) averted.

So, what are Bel’s biggest takeaways?

  • Don’t save personal files, images, memes or documents on your work computer. Ever.
  • Double-check everything before you post. Twice.
  • Move quickly to fix/delete/replace/edit/apologise. Don’t let mistakes fester online – the longer it’s out there, the greater the chance it will turn into a bigger issue.
  • If you make a mistake on social, always, always, always let your manager know.

Watch that itchy delete-trigger finger

Before joining Aruga, Account Manager Henry accidentally wiped more than 100 competition entries for a well-known beer brand by deleting the organic Facebook post, which also deleted the associated social media ad campaign. Cue elevated heart rate and mass panic.

Henry says even when there’s heavy pressure to rectify something immediately online, do these two things first (after taking a deep breath):

  • Back-up everything (an IT oldie but a goodie).
  • Download all leads and screenshot all comments, so you have a visual reference if the original post goes AWOL or the platform goes offline.

The old profile switcheroo

Here’s a scenario that just about every social media exec knows intimately – posting on the wrong account. When you manage social media content for different clients and have access to multiple accounts on the same platform, it’s easy to accidentally toggle to the wrong profile or forget which account you are signed into.

While bouncing between accounts at a previous role, Account Executive Rylee made the classic faux pas of mistaking a client’s Instagram account for her own. Oops.

Surprisingly, the client was not particularly interested in Rylee’s after-hours adventures. It’s a mistake you will only ever do once, she says.

Rylee’s advice is simple.

  • ALWAYS log out of your clients’ accounts at 5pm on Friday.
  • Schedule content ahead if you can, otherwise remember to double-check the account before posting content or responding to any comments on the go.
If this blog has left you amused but still bemused by social media, hit us up for strategic solutions across community management, content schedules, advertising campaigns and more that are specifically tailored for your business or brand. For more info about the dos and don’ts of social media, here’s our guide to social media etiquette.