Social media failsWhat happens when things go wrong and how to fix it
As well as knowing when your brandneeds social media, and what platform it’s best suited to......you need to know what to do when it goes wrong
Brands are no longer in control THE MOMENT A BRAND OPENS A FACEBOOK PAGE OR A TWITTER ACCOUNT, THEY ARE HANDING A BIG CHUNK OF CONTROL TO THEIR FANS AND FOLLOWERS...
“Consumers can now openly challenge brands in anenvironment where there is scope to make a massive amount of noise.” “Companies can’t gag users, or ignore them. It isfeasibly possible to hold brands to a certain extent of reputation ransom, at least for those firms that care about their reputations (not all do)” Econsultancy
Where can it go wrong?There is a big list of ways that social media end in disaster, but we will take a lookat examples that fall under these three areas: Human error 1 Misjudging the audience 2 PR disaster 3In some cases, brands have been known to fall foul of all three!!
Chrysler THE TWEET WAS DELETED AFTER A COUPLE OF MINUTES BUT IT WAS LONG ENOUGH FOR FOLLOWERS TO SEE IT AND RETWEET. CHRYSLER POSTED A PUBLIC APOLOGY ON THEIR BLOG. THE MISTAKE WAS MADE BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY AND HE WAS DULY FIRED NOT LONG AFTER, AND CHRYSLER PULLED THE ACCOUNT.
American Red Cross SIMPLE CASE OF TWEETING FROM THE WRONG ACCOUNT, BUT THIS TIME RED CROSS TURNED THE FAIL INTO A SUCCESS WITH A COMEDY RESPONSE WHICH LED TO DOGFISH HEAD GIVING THEM A #FF AND INSTRUCTING THEIR OWN FOLLOWERS TO DONATE TO THE RED CROSS, WHICH THEY DID. WITH THE RIGHT BRAND AND IF YOU ARE QUICK, A NIGHTMARE CAN BE TURNED INTO A SUCCESS STORY
Rules to avoid human error1. Need to have approval and sign off processes in place...and always double check after the update has been posted.2. If it is wrong, take it down immediately and monitor the reaction. Were you quick enough? 1. Yes - Amend and re-post where possible. 2. No - If you were not quick enough or the situation is serious, escalate and follow your crisis management planBut most importantly, run your personal Twitter account from somewheredifferent to the brand account.
Kenneth Cole THIS SHOWS THAT EVEN WITH THE OWNER OF THE BUSINESS BEHIND THE WHEEL IT CAN STILL GO HORRIBLY WRONG WHEN YOU MIS JUDGE THE AUDIENCE THIS WAS PUBLISHED IN THE HIGHT OF THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION WHEN TWITTER WAS BEING USED BY EGYPTIANS TO COORDINATE DEMOS. THE RESULT WAS PUBLIC OUTCRY AND A FORMAL APOLOGY FROM KENNETH COLE HIMSELF
Ragu AMONG THE BLOGGERS CONTACTED WAS CC CHAPMAN, A KEY RAGU TWEETED AT INFLUENCER AND INFLUENTIAL DADS PROUD FATHER, WHO WITH A SHORT VIDEO FOUND THE VIDEO BASHING DADS FOR HIGHLY OFFENSIVE AND NOT BEING BLOGGED ABOUT IT, ADVENTUROUS WITH LEADING TO A THEIR COOKING TRENDING HASHTAG, #RAGUHATESDADS
Rules to avoid misjudging the audience1. Think before you post.2. Really think before you post!3. Is what you are about to post relevant and value adding to the audience? If the answer is ‘no’ you probably shouldn’t post it.4. When it goes wrong, it goes wrong very fast so be prepared with a robust crisis management plan.
Kryptonite TOUTED AS BEING THE MOST SECURE BIKE LOCK ON THE MARKET, A VIDEO POPPED UP SHOWING THE ‘EVOLUTION 2000’ BEING PICKED WITH A BIRO RATHER THAN ACKNOWLEDGE THE FAULT, KRYPTONITE STAYED SILENT AND MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO CROWD SOURCE THE R&D OF THE NEXT GENERATION OF LOCKS WITH THEIR FANS AND FOLLOWERS
Rules for avoiding a PR disaster1. Depending on the scale of the issue, you might have to resign yourself to damage limitation2. Employ social media best practice and put that crisis management plan into practice3. Keep fans and followers updated. There is nothing worse than unchecked rumours to fuel the fire4. Is this a negative that could be turned into a positive?But most importantly, TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE, DON’T GIVE THEM THESILENT TREATMENT
Social media crisis management planIn simple terms, these three golden rules should always apply: Transparency and honesty Openness Moving quickly The Speaking to Agility personal customers in a personal tone of touch voice
Social media crisis management planAt a granular levels, you should be prepared for a range of situations: REMOVE POSTS FROM INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS DEEMED TO BE OFFENSIVE / IS THE POST POSITIVE? ABUSIVE LAUNGUAGE WHERE APPROPRIATE YES RESPOND TO THE POSTER NO (3 STRIKES AND YOU’RE GREAT OUT APPROACH) YOU CAN LET THE POST STAND MONITOR THE SITE FOR YES OR RESPOND WITH THANKS IS THE POST OFFENSIVE, PERSISTENT OFFENDERS DEFAMATORY OR (WARN/ REPORT / REMOVE SHOULD YOU RESPOND? DEGRADING IN NATURE? FAN AS APPROPRIATE) NO RESPOND DIRECTLY TO THE POST WITH THE CORRECT FACTUAL IS THE POST YES INFORMATION FACTUALLY INCORRECT AND LINKS TO NO YES OR MISGUIDED? FURTHER DETAILS RESPOND AND RECTIFY NO DO NOT THE SITUATION RESPOND SHOW GRATITUDE IS THE POST FROM AN ACT APPROPRIATELY AND LET THE POST FOR POSITIVE UNHAPPY CUSTOMER, YES DEMONSTRATE HOW WE WILL STAND IF FEEDBACK ( A POOR EXPERIENCE LEARN FROM THE SITUATION IT’S A NEUTRAL INSTORE / WITH PRODUCT AND IMPROVE THESERVICE / POSTING / FROM COLLEAGUE ETC)? PRODUCT IN FUTURE
In any situation... Be Take Listen Prepare Be open consiste action ntListen to the conversation happening around your brandPrepare a point of view and how you will aim to add value, or limit the damage being causedBe open and honest in all of your communications, through all of your channelsConsistent communication across all of the stakeholders and consumer touch points to make sure there isno confusionAnd finally, take action and put it all into practice.
Doing nothing, and hoping it will fix itself, is the worse thing you can do...