Social Media Crimes of Passion


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When crises happen, are you killing your brand reputation on social media? Learn which situations are most likely to lead to mistakes — and who is most likely to cause them — and questions to ask to prepare for the inevitable crisis.

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  • You can monitor your reputation, try to prevent others from harming it—but what happens when you kamikaze your own brand? I call those social media crimes of passion. CLICK
  • A social media crime of passion has 3 components: 1. You’re surprised by a crisis or issue, SO YOU 2. Strong emotions cause you to react on social media, WHICH 3. Harms your brand reputation. CLICK
  • While you might think crimes of passion only happen during a crisis, even everyday social media shenanigans can provoke a reaction—especially when you’re getting attacked and on the defensive. BUT, BUT… CLICK
  • And preventing social media crimes of passion is essential. Any damage to your brand reputation is going to hurt the bottom line. But self-inflicted damage is the stupidest kind. <<<<There are 3 groups of people most likely to perpetuate these social crimes of passion. In fact, the name of their group describes their crime, too.>>>> CLICK
  • Perp No 1. The overreactors: I’m going to put most executives/owners in this category. They tend to be spoiling for a fight because they have a) the most emotion invested and b) the most money invested. Worse, they know the least about day-to-day social media management and have the power to bully you into doing something you know is not wise. CLICK
  • Perp No 2. The fed up: These are the people on the front line. They’re dealing day-in and day-out with social media shit and may experience the “last straw” effect of customer service. CLICK
  • Perp No. 3. The unprepared: This is the group that many of you or your clients might fall into… People who are ignorant that they need a social media crisis plan… or who are closing their eyes to the urgency of developing one. <<<So, how do get started on a plan? Ask questions, and look to the examples others. We’re going to consider 5 questions and 5 examples now—most are crimes of passion in one way or another. >>> CLICK
  • Question 1: Who responds, when and where do they respond and with what information? Basically, the who-what-when-and-where. Establish this in advance for anything you would consider a true crisis. CLICK
  • First example: KitchenAid. CLICK
  • The provocation: A Kitchen Aid employee posts a tasteless, inappropriate tweet during the presidential debate—and uses the hashtag. CLICK
  • Within ONE MINUTE, that tweet is deleted from KitchenAid’s brand account and someone apologizes. BUT that person was NOT PREPARED? Why? They included the hashtag… so thousands of people who might not have known anything was wrong now know something was wrong. The original was already seen, screencapped and shared by others. CLICK
  • Official response: KAid’s head of brand posted 3 hours later to Twitter to apologize, hint at what would happen to the offender take full responsibility for the team and offer to talk to the journalists already posting stories online. Next day, they provide official email address for media inquiries. Who, what, when and where ? Who (plannable): Yes, this depends on the level of the crisis. BUT come up with an escalation chart. It’s wasn’t KA’s CEO, but it was their head of brand. What (plannable): Yes, this depends on the situation. BUT do you have a standby tweet for the “oh shit I tweeted something personal from the company account” moment? Write it now. Make sure it doesn’t include a hashtag. When (always same answer): As soon as you have any facts… If you don’t have facts, say so. The answer can be “We’re aware of the problem” followed by “Here’s what we know right now” followed by an “update” followed by a statement with complete information and the plan going forward. Where (always the same answer): Publish FIRST in the social channel where the problem surfaced, then go to other channels with the widest, fastest distribution. CLICK
  • Then this case took a curious turn. 3 days after the crisis had subsided, KitchenAidUSA decided to post again about the issue. I think they committed a crime of passion after all. Here’s my evidence: NOTHING about the writing style, grammar, tone or even social media customs is the same. I don’t have all the facts, but all of that leads me to believe these Saturday posts were at best written in haste in response to something specific—an overreaction— or at worst written by someone not who they purported to be. If I had more time, I’d investigate more. Both times, though, <<Interestingly, KitchenAid did NOT engage with any of those criticizing the brand via the Twitter stream. Sometimes the impulse can be otherwise.>> CLICK
  • Question 2: On what occasions shouldn’t you respond? What if just one person is talking about you? CLICK
  • Case Study No. 2: Dave Ramsey, bestselling financial planning author, with millions of fans—and 300,000 Twitter followers. But he’s not everyone’s favorite. CLICK
  • The provocation: One night a couple of weeks ago, a critic baited him a little on Twitter, his supporters defended him for being successful, and she points out “Success doesn’t make you nice.” CLICK
  • Within 10 minutes, at dinnertime on a weeknight, Dave RTs her tweet, adding “you missed the part where I care what u think.” The critic started it, but Dave’s reply was at dismissive, rude and a overreaction. What to ask yourself: When should you respond? Are you going to reply to critics? If so, do you have a 30-minutes-before-reply rule or a two-reply policy? What if someone really gets under your skin? Can you rely on yourself to STFU, or do you need someone to pull you back?   <<transition: one of the hardest times to pull back is when you feel JUSTIFIED>> CLICK
  • Because one of the hardest times to avoid throttling someone is when you’re in the right. Question 4: “What if you are in the right?” CLICK
  • Case study 4: Nestle. Greenpeace releases a report that criticizes Nestle for using palm oil that damages rain forests. Pro/con conversation sparks on Facebook, with Nestle more or less controlling the immediate crisis, until... CLICK
  • … the provocation, when some people start altering the Nestle logo in jest or protest and making it the Facebook profile pics. In response, Nestle commits the triumvirate of social media crimes of passion. CLICK
  • First, they overreact. They post multiple messages about using altered versions of the logo—well within their legal rights, never might Facebook Fan Page Admin rights. They sternly ask posters not to use altered images of their logo as profile pictures — or their Facebook posts will be deleted. Which brought out a LOT of freedom-of-speech defenses. Not very logical, but clearly Nestle’s threat bothered people. CLICK
  • The more they’re challenged, the defensive they get, ultimately getting fed up and resorting to sarcasm. CLICK
  • This was the early days of Facebook Fans page, so I’m guessing they didn’t know what a sincere apology sounded like — and they certainly weren’t prepared with one. It took two days for even this to be posted. What if you’re in the right? Sometimes that’s irrelevant to a mob. Supporters of Nestle went from defending the company to criticizing the company’s PR team, negating all that work Nestle had done on the real issue. Plus, people don’t really love giant corporations. Rudeness is not going to help your case even if you are right.   <<transition: but an apology can help your case if you have been rude>> CLICK
  • A restaurant patron with an unruly child posted a 4-star review of a restaurant to Yelp, but she mentioned that a staff member was curt when 3-year-old son acted up. CLICK
  • Turns out, it was the owner of the restaurant who was curt. On Yelp, she apologized, continuing with, “In hindsight, I was definitely abrupt” and “I’m am striving to find a balance between being child-friendly and not alienating our other clientele, and I clearly have some more work to do.” Then she described her initial ideas. When should you apologize? When shouldn’t you? Some verticals have laws about apologies, such as doctors who are protected from litigation to some degree by “I’m Sorry” laws in 36 states. Most lawyers will tell you never to apologize. Most people will tell you “all they wanted was an apology.” Do the right thing for your customers if you can. You may not have as much control over this, depending on the size of your company. CLICK
  • <<That said, you do have some control over the final question we’ll consider today—but it’s the trickiest question to answer in advance. In fact, the example I have, I’m not sure whether it was a crime of passion or a stroke of brilliance or just dumb luck. You decide.>> CLICK
  • This summer, the netowrk of British mobile phone company O2, went down for hundreds of thousands of customers this summer. They took to Twitter en masse to complain, some vilely. CLICK
  • Some said things like this: How about blanket-y blanking your mothers, you blanks? CLICK
  • The reaction: O2 decides enough is enough, and they get cheeky in response. Their response gets shared by hundreds, jokes start flying back and forth between O2 and their customers. It turns the tide of negative sentiment into positive sentiment and the viciousness ends. The truth is, no matter whether intentional or not, this is a one in a million thing. Chances are, it’s NOT going to work for your brand. But, you can ask, what should be the tone of your response? When is formal too formal and when is casual too casual? Is it ok to joke on the brand account? Do you have exactly the right people on your social media front lines, and do they understand the important of tone? How will you make sure that the tone fits both your company’s reputation and the situation? CLICK
  • <<Bottom line: You can PLAN for and PREVENT crimes of passion.>> Asking the right questions to gauge the feelings of your executives / stakeholders. Research and learn from the examples of others—good and bad. Then make decisions that are best for YOUR brand and write a plan. CLICK
  • You can deliberate with a solid plan, you can get lucky with the right response at the right moment or you can be stupid and not prepare at all. Your choice. CLICK
  • Social Media Crimes of Passion

    1. 1. socialmediacrimesof passionDON’T BLOW AWAYBRAND REPUTATIONSArienne HollandRaven Internet Marketing Tools@RavenArienne
    2. 2. social media crimes of passionSurprise! >>Strong emotions >>Harm to the brand@RavenArienne | #pubcon3 components
    3. 3. social media crimes of passionCustomers complain.Competitors lie.Haters hate.@RavenArienne | #pubconreality 1
    4. 4. social media crimes of passionDamage to brandreputation = damage tothe bottom line.@RavenArienne | #pubconreality 2
    5. 5. social media crimes of passionoverreactorsperp 1
    6. 6. social media crimes of passionfed upperp 2
    7. 7. social media crimes of passionunpreparedperp 3
    8. 8. social media crimes of passionWho responds,with what information,when, and where?@RavenArienne | #pubconquestion 1
    9. 9. example
    10. 10. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconprovocation
    11. 11. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconunprepared
    12. 12. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubcongood job! a prepared response
    13. 13. @RavenArienne | #pubconsocial media crimes of passionoverreaction
    14. 14. social media crimes of passionOn what occasionsshouldn’t you respond?@RavenArienne | #pubconquestion 2
    15. 15. guilty?example
    16. 16. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconprovocation
    17. 17. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconoverreaction
    18. 18. social media crimes of passionWhat if you’rein the right?@RavenArienne | #pubconquestion 3
    19. 19. example
    20. 20. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconprovocation
    21. 21. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconoverreaction
    22. 22. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconfed up
    23. 23. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconunprepared
    24. 24. social media crimes of passionWhen shouldyou apologize?@RavenArienne | #pubconquestion 4
    25. 25. example
    26. 26. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconprovocation
    27. 27. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubcongood job! a prepared response
    28. 28. social media crimes of passionWhat should be thetone of your response?@RavenArienne | #pubconquestion 5
    29. 29. guilty?example
    30. 30. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconprovocation
    31. 31. social media crimes of passion@RavenArienne | #pubconfed up, brilliant or lucky?
    32. 32. social media crimes of passionAsk questions.Learn from others.Decide for your brand.@RavenArienne | #pubconplan!
    33. 33. social media crimes of passionYou can be deliberate,lucky or stupid.You pick.@RavenArienne | #pubconlesson
    34. 34. CASE STUDY SOURCESAND RESOURCESATRAVEN.IM/SOCIALMEDIACRIMESvintage crime photosvia andpoisonous.tumblr.comthankyou