How to Prevent a Social Media Melt-Down

Integrate makes it a point to always stay on top of current events and when the Travel Channel pulled Man Finds Food, a new show created by Adam Richman of Man Vs. Food fame, from its channel lineup after Richman’s vicious Instagram melt-down, we couldn’t help by cringe!

Richman, who recently lost nearly 70 pounds, posted a picture on Instagram where he used the hashtag #thinspiration, a term commonly used by sites that promote eating disorders.  Instagram users quickly posted disapproving comments, and Richman didn’t hold back in his replies.  YIKES! When are these people going to learn…

As a leading PR and social media agency, trust us, we warmly embrace Instagram as a platform to express ideas and connect with others, but we just as strongly suggest that brands (personalities included!) must think about their audiences before posting. Social media allows for content to be posted in seconds, but some things should always remain private, especially celebrity feuds with fans. 

Richman is not the first celebrity to have a full-on social media tantrum, and is surely not the last.  To help prevent future mishaps, we have a few golden rules that apply to social media usage. 

  • The first is:  if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  The not-so-nice words Richman may have felt in the moment were (and still will be) available for all to see.  He probably didn’t realize that this would be interpreted as offensive but once the audience reacted, he just fueled that fire with his responses.
  • This leads into the second rule:  walk away whilst angry.  Rage and mean words are a treacherous mix on any platform; something Richman learned the hard way.  Come back to it a few hours later, or after a good night’s sleep.
  • The final rule applies to many public relations blunders: admit when you’re wrong and say you’re sorry.  A sincere apology will not erase a mistake, but can express recognition of the incident and the hope to move forward in a positive direction.

Although you cannot control what others choose to post on social media, you can choose how you respond.   Before posts get out of hand, take control of the situation and prevent any major social media meltdowns from happening to you or your brand.