This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.
For all the praise that brand advertisers have for social media, they must be aware that it’s very much a double-edged sword. And for all the free marketing, advertising and brand promotion via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Linked In, and other platforms used to help build an identity and relationship with your customers, it can just as quickly turn on you and your brand.
Social media disasters occur for a number of reasons, the first being that your company probably messed up. It may not have been intentional, but something, somewhere down the line, went wrong enough for someone to complain and it was enough for others to vocalize that complaint en masse. One mistake is all it takes for social media to turn against your brand.
No one is perfect and you can’t expect to please everyone all the time, so the best trick is to be prepared for how to handle things if your company finds itself under attack in the social realm. Here are three examples of companies who were attacked by social media and how they handled, or should have handled the situation. Learn from their mistakes or successes so you can stay on social media’s good side.