5 Lessons Learnt From Social Media Disasters | Online Media Gazette

Following the two case studies that I did earlier on; Nestle’s Facebook Mess and Tiger Airways’ Selective Listening, I would like to share five lessons I’ve learnt from social media public relations disasters like them.

1. Be Aware Of How Your Employees Use Social Media

If you’re delegating your public forum to someone, make damn sure that the person knows what is expected out of them. In both Nestle and Tiger Airways mess, it was apparent that their Facebook pages are controlled by an authoritarian figure who only wants his/her way rather than listening to the consumer feedbacks.

2. Never Ignore Your Customers

By deleting all negative comments on your Facebook pages, you wished that no one would notice your actions but never forget that what’s shared on the Internet stays online permanently. Banning customers who are irrelevant to your brand is a sure-fire way to expose your brand is pretentious and insincere in building genuine relationships, despite utilizing social media tools like Facebook pages.

3. Never Insult Your Customers

Both these brands violated the basic rule of public relations, said BNET’s Rick Broida: “Don’t insult your customers.” Even if you disagree with the opinions shared on your Facebook pages, the least you can do is rectify it in a polite manner. The combative tone utilized by these brands resulted in even more continuous rants on their pages and from there the virality of social media snowballs the original issues to a bigger one.

4. Never Insult A community

One thing Nestle did that was downright moronic is to demand YouTube to pull the parody video off their site. That action sent shockwaves amongst the entire YouTube community; where users responded by making copies of the video and posting it to other different video sharing websites. Eventually, it led to even more backlashes on their Facebook page and Twitter accounts.

5. Respond To Each Customers Individually

In Tiger Airways’ case, their staff kept sticking to the mantra of “You get what you paid for” to answer almost all of their negative feedbacks. Definitely the easier route for them to take but for their customers, it’s definitely frustrating to get feedbacks without getting banned. And when I say respond to each customer individually, that doesn’t include banning the individuals who are giving negative comments to your page.

The above are a few lessons that I’ve picked up after analyzing the two case studies. Do you have any others? Do share with us.


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Nestlé gets feisty on Facebook over palm oil


Nestlé has been in full damage-control mode ever since Greenpeace likened Kit Kats to bloody orangutan fingers. The international chocolatier has posted no fewer than nine Facebook updates defending its use of palm oil, which Greenpeace says is destroying rainforest habitats. However, the company’s outreach doesn’t seem to be winning over the critics. User comments on the official Nestlé Facebook page have been overwhelmingly negative, with administrators twice asking fans to quit using “an altered version of any of our logos.” The brand’s representatives have also lost their patience a few times, snapping back with comments such as this one, which simply must be read in its entirety: “So, let’s see, we have to be well-mannered all the time but it’s perfectly acceptable to refer to us as everything from idiots right the way down to sons of satan with a few obscenities and strange sexual practices thrown in?” I earnestly feel for Nestlé, which has been battered relentlessly in social media for its international policies, but sometimes the best thing to do is just disengage, go get your house in order and come back when heads are a little cooler. Hat tip to @AdLawGuy.

—Posted by David Griner


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