Five Lessons Learned from Social Media Disasters

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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