Remember the Kingdome? No? Well, think of it this way: when the Kingdome was destroyed in 2000, the implosion that took it down improved your site lines to watching games in that location. Really, this was a bad building with a great demise.
What has this have to do with Social Media? Just this: if you want to find the fastest way to take down your company (and in some of your customers eyes maybe improve your business), trigger a massive implosion by ignoring the rules of advertising through Social Media.
As a business owner, social media can work to either your advantage or to your disadvantage. If you use it wisely, then it will help boost sales in your business and you can enjoy the large sums of profits. Moving away from the obvious reasons as to why social media can help your business, there was a recent scandal about Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique and Bistro. This restaurant, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, has been in the limelight of social media for all the wrong reasons.
The Mother Of All Meltdowns
As early as 2010, the restaurant has been getting poor reviews on Yelp and the owners responded by attacking one reviewer by calling them names such as “moron”, “loser”, etc. They later blamed the poor performance of their business on “haters” who were on a “witch hunt”. On May 13th, a screen shot of the bakery having a meltdown was submitted to Reddit showing the owners having a Facebook meltdown. On May 14th they tried to save face and claimed that their Facebook account had been hacked and that they were not the ones who had posted the offensive posts. That was quite a story but from it we get to learn a few rules on how to ensure your business implodes.
1. Insult Your Customers
The first rule of social media is to never insult people. It’s not possible to satisfy every customer and there’ll always be one disgruntled customer who will never be satisfied no matter how great you think your services are. The best thing to do is to respond politely or to simply ignore their criticism on social media. Insulting them by calling them “morons” and “losers” like the Bouzaglos did will only make you look unprofessional.
2. Get Offended By Everything Said About You
The key to surviving and thriving on social media is to develop a thick skin. Social media is not for the weak and you have to be able to defend your business or your brand. Clearly, the Bouzaglos did not know this because when Amy was criticized on Reddit she shot back. People can be brutally honest on social media and if you do not have the stomach for it then do not join in their conversations. The community at Facebook has flooded her company’s Facebook page with so many comments that as of today (May 20) it seems they are working on pulling page.
3. Remove Your Brain
ALWAYS think before you leap. There are times when some comments may just hit a raw nerve and you feel the urge to immediately lash out and give those responsible for the posts a piece of your mind. As a business owner, when someone belittles your hard work and effort, you have a right to be angry but you have to be very careful about how you respond to them. If you respond when you are angry, you might just say something that will make the situation even worse. It is advised that you take some time to cool off and then respond if you still see the need to.
4. Get Sucked In By Trolls
Rule number four is to never respond to “haters”; better known as trolls. Believe it or not, there are some people out there who are just sitting and waiting for the perfect moment to attack you on social media. They can do this by posting offensive comments, underestimating your work or tarnishing the image of your brand, among other things. Why would someone do this? The answer is simple; so that they can get a reaction from you. If you respond to haters, you will only be satisfying their needs and motivating them to continue “hating” on you. It is best to ignore such kind of people because they can make your life a living hell on social media as the Bouzaglos’ came to find out.
5. Keep Talking
You need to know when to talk and when to shut up. The Bouzaglos’ were clearly getting a lot of negative social media feedback especially after their bakery appeared on an episode of the popular TV program, “Kitchen Nightmare”, where Chef Ramsey walked out on them in the show. Instead of defending their actions, clarifying what happened, or simply keeping quiet, they went on a Facebook meltdown which did not do them any good. If anything it just worsened their image.
Get Help BEFORE The Meltdown
Most businesses rarely consider the importance of engaging the services of a PR firm to help them manage their social media image. The Bouzaglos eventually hired a PR firm to clean up their mess but it was a little too late. If they had hired a PR firm earlier, then perhaps they would have avoided such a scandal.