If you manage social media for your company, the chances are extremely high that you’ve nearly thrown your computer or phone against the wall because that photo keeps posting wrong! Or because the link isn’t working! Or the button to post is gone! GONE I tell you.
It’s ok. We’ve all been there. Truth be told, I’ve actually never thrown my computer against the wall. Yet. It’s something I’m quite proud of after about 10 years working in social media, thank you very much.
If you’re frequently frustrated and pushed to your crazy levels by social media’s constant glitches, which are inevitable almost every day, let me offer some sanity-saving advice.
If nothing else, this information might help you save a friendly co-working relationship that could be on its way out the next time Facebook breaks.
- Go to Twitter: Instagram not working? A link shortener not functioning? Take it to Twitter with different search queries (ex: “Instagram down” or “Buffer down”) to see if it’s not on your end. Many management tools are quick to tweet when a bug is identified (Kudos to Buffer) and updating when it’s fixed. Check their Twitter pages. If you’re able to learn that it’s not on YOUR end, simply wait it out and go do something else productive.
- Re-try: If it’s related to a preview link not pulling in the correct image (one of the most frequent glitches), click out of the program, re-open, and re-post the draft. If that doesn’t do the trick, try clearing cookies or using a different browser.
- Give it Some Time: Just in general, if something doesn’t seem right, it likely isn’t. You can spend hours trying to fix it – trust us, we get caught in this cycle too – or many times you just need to wait a few hours or the next day and the problem goes away.
- Plan for Bugs: Add in “bug fixing” time when you’re planning how long it will take you to manage social media each month (either when sending your plan to your boss, to your clients or for your own planning). This is especially important when launching a campaign. People think creating a social media post is quick and easy, but it rarely actually is. Besides the planning that goes into it, there is a large portion of the time where a social site isn’t working and you have to troubleshoot.
- Go to Facebook Support: Just kidding. That’s a joke. In case you aren’t familiar, “Facebook support” is actually a community support forum where it just sends you in circles and outdated information isn’t deleted. Yay. But, joking aside, there have been instances where we’ve found solutions through the community support, and one extremely valuable time we heard from a rep after weeks upon weeks of searching a glitch for a client only to learn that our page was in a testing group and there was nothing we could do. Hey, at least we didn’t continue spending weeks searching. But, it’s a dark hole, folks. BONUS TIP: If you’re dealing with Facebook not pulling in the correct link preview and image, look into the Facebook debugger tool to manually scrape the data clean and/or ensure your website has the capability to edit the meta data for Facebook sharing. [A good resource for that.]
- Join a Professional Help Community: There are tons out there, but the best one that we’ve found at Pigtail Media is through Social Media Examiner. There is a very active Facebook group where you can post all sorts of questions to get extraordinary help in nearly every social media category you can think of. It’s highly monitored (so no spam) and is member-only, so everyone helps everyone. It’s included with a membership, so it’s not free, but we think it’s worth every dollar. [If you have a forum you love, post in the comments below!]
- Breath: Seriously….Step away from the computer. It might be fixed by the time you get back, but if not, at least you’ve helped save your computer from demolition.
Hopefully you’ll keep these in the back of your mind next time social media is making you pull out your hair or scream at the computer. Remember, no one likes a crazy person screaming to no one in particular.
About Cierra Savatgy-King: Cierra is founder of Pigtail Media, a boutique social media marketing firm for hospitality, travel and entertainment brands. She helps build strategies, manage content and train teams, helping clients tame the massive beast of social media. See what clients have said.