Taking the Twit Out of Twitter: How To Bounce Back From A Gaffe With Grace

January 7th, 2013 by Jennifer Stout

We’ve touched on the importance of having a good Twitter handle, but just as important is the content of your tweets. While in the past you could expect to be chastised for a misspelling or typo in the classroom, social media platforms like Twitter now make your mistakes public in a way that they weren’t before — and people of the Internet are far less forgiving.

Twitter blunders can range from comical misspellings on your personal account…

to accidentally tweeting from an employer’s account.

Or it could include the posting of insensitive and/or offensive material.

By the time you realize the mistake (or, as is usually the case, the mistake is pointed out to you), it’s often too late. In a day where followers are aplenty, you often can’t simply remove the gaffe and pretend it never happened. It’s already been viewed and possibly shared by any number of people.

The best way to avoid these mistakes is obviously by proofreading your tweets, especially if you are acting on behalf of a business. One missed letter could change the entire meaning of a tweet (or even prompt followers to click on an unintended link). Whether you’re representing yourself or a brand, it’s important to put your best foot forward, and it all starts with attention to detail.

However, if you do find yourself the object of Internet ridicule, there are a few things you can do to smooth over the situation. First, know when to own it. A simple misspelling might not be worth drawing more attention to, but if you accidentally share a bad link or were unintentionally (or intentionally, for that matter) offensive, then you might owe your followers an apology. Feel free to keep it short and sweet: like anything involving Twitter, brevity is key. If offensive material is in the mix, make sure to explicitly detail what you’re doing to remedy the problem and provide a sincere apology (and for Pete’s sake, not a “sorry you were offended” style one).

Finally, keep up your sense of humor. Whether you accidentally tweeted that you love the smell of your boyfriend’s colon or you simply never learned the difference between you and you’re, have a laugh about it. Besides, it’s likely that you’ll be able to return the favor to the follower who pointed out your blunder at some point in the future anyway.