Read more → http://is.gd/14SelectionShow
Join us on Sunday @ 5p on our Google+ Hangout → http://is.gd/ShockersGooglePlus
via EMM, Expert Marketer Magazine
A client was receiving a string of angry comments on their Facebook Page over a comment an employee had posted on their own personal Facebook profile. The company wasn’t referenced at all, in the post, the post wasn’t relevant to them in any way, and the views were in no way held to be those of the company. The only connection was that this company had been tagged in the About section of the posters profile as an employer.
The personal comment was posted by a young woman. It was offensive, totally out of line, and directed to members of the armed forces. Anger was understandable. She later deleted it.
Some of what unfolded....
First, while the young lady deleted her post, someone had taken a screen shot of it and posted it in a military support group on Facebook. From there it spread virally at a rapid rate. A screen shot showing her full name, Facebook profile photo and the update itself were soon being shared by thousands of Facebook users. Once again evidence that "delete" doesn’t work and once you post an update you can never effectively take it back or control who sees it beyond your intended audience.
Second, this was another Facebook user who had no privacy controls in place. From seeing her name and profile photo, it had been easy to trace her. Her Facebook profile was quickly covered in thousands of angry, hateful, threatening, obscene comments - about her, her husband, and even about her young baby. From the information she was publicly sharing and the link back to her husband's Facebook profile from her About information, it would be very easy to track them down offline. And with the nature of many of the comments made, that's a scary prospect. Again, her comments were offensive and totally out of line, but the response still shocked me and was way beyond anything I would have imagined. Facebook gives us privacy controls. Use them. The public nature of this user's profile and the personal information shared goes beyond the thousands of angry comments posted on her profile, to personal safety issues. We can't blame Facebook for sharing our information if we don't even take advantage of the privacy tools they provide us with.
Third, the angry comments on the company Facebook Page. They came quickly and in most instances the company was being held as having the same views as the individual. Again, the comments she posted were on her personal page, never mentioned the company, were never implied as being on behalf of the company. Absolutely the only connection was her About information tagged the company as an employer. That alone was enough for the company to be held (in many instances) as responsible for her comments, even an assumption that they shared the posters views. What most of those people had failed to pay any attention to was that she listed the company as an employer with and end date in 2012. She hadn’t even worked for the company for close to a year. So understand this, when your employees affiliate themselves with you they are absolutely your brand ambassadors - for good or bad - and will absolutely impact perceptions of your brand. Don't ignore that fact. Do you have social media guidelines or policies in place? Do you educate employees on digital citizenship risks and responsibilities or online privacy? Of course it wont magically stop incidents like this one happening, but education, guidance and accountability is a great first step. An HR Director told me not too long ago that due to the risks that came with social media their company had avoided any social media presence – mitigate risk by shutting it out My reply to her was simply that if they had any employees who were social media users, then their company had a social media presence. In the instance this evening, the comments came from someone who didn’t even work for the company any more - people simply saw the name and established a connection. It was unfortunate that they came to such quick conclusions about the company from nothing more than that connection, also that they apparantly failed to notice or just ignored the fact that the same information that said she worked for the company also said she had left their employment nearly a year earlier, but that's another discussion entirely.
Fourth, I've had plenty of people say to me that having a Facebook Page or any other type of social media presence is a liability due to the risk of negative comments or brand attacks. I'm sure some of those people would use tonight's example to reinforce that - the brand came under heavy attack with negative comments and feedback posted, including calls to boycot the business. Yet the company was entirely innocent in the situation. If there hadn’t been a Facebook Page then all those negative comments wouldn’t have been posted. Wrong. They would - just in places we wouldn’t have known about them so quickly (if at all) or been able to respond. I say that having a brand controlled space for those negative comments to be posted is beneficial. It meant tonight that we could see the comments happening quickly, were able to respond to and be part of the conversation – not have it take place (and escalate) without us - and that we could ensure those already in the conversation were acknowledged and their concerns directly addressed, those coming to the Page to join the conversation were met with a statement from the company helping them make a more informed decision, and that the issue was actually able to be resolved relatively quickly as far as the brand's involvement goes. A lot of the anger was able to be diffused relatively easily given the overall scope of the situation. Without the ability to engage quickly and effectively at a central focal point, the attacks against the company could quickly have escalated out of control.
Fifth, be ready. What would you do in a similar situation? It can happen to any company, large or small. Speed of response was critical tonight and with the right steps taken to respond in the right way and in a timely and proactive fashion, the attacks against the company were relatively short lived. Many users continued to visit the company’s Page to post comments, but after the response plan was initiated a majority of the comments moved from negative to positive sentiment, even while the incident itself continued to escalate out of all control. The statement posted by the company was not negative about the former employee, it simply that it was former employee, did not represent the company views, and what the company views actually were. Did it stop every negative comment? No, but a majority of them. No spin or PR, just a simple statement of fact. Of course, a few people still were angry with the company, a few clearly didn't read the statement... but a vast majority acknowledged it and either clicked the "Like" button and went on their way, or left a comment of support. What if it was your business? Do you have a plan - how and when you'll engage, what you'll say, who can approve statements being issued on behalf of the company and how quickly can that approval be secured? What if it's out of hours as in this instance?
Meantime the individual who posted the original comments lost her job as a result, is dealing with literally thousands of comments on her personal Facebook Page, and is being forever indexed in Google alongside the very negative comments she made - despite having deleted them - and will likely suffer long term consequences for her choice of words.
Some important lessons, and a very scary series of events in terms of the speed of escalation and ferocity of response. Again, the comments she posted were offensive and were going to generate an angry response, but I would never have imagined anything like this.
- Great Plains United Methodist Conference2013 - present
- Kansas Area of the UMC2011 - 2013
- Wichita State University2005 - 2009
Oklahoma’s Republican Senators Voted Against 2011 FEMA Funds
Oklahoma’s two Republican senators, Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, may be in an awkward position: their tornado-devastated state needs help fr
Miss. man accused of mailing suspected ricin described conspiracy theory...
CORINTH, Miss. — A Mississippi man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to national leaders believed he had uncovered a conspirac
YouTube - Watch Rick Perry's Campaign End Before Your Eyes
Create AccountSign In. Home. BrowseMoviesUpload. Hey there, this is not a commercial interruption. You're using an outdated browser, whi
Heroic Dog Rescues Kittens Dumped in TrafficHeroic Dog Rescues Kittens D...
When a bag of kittens was dumped and run over in traffic on a rural Iowa highway, a dog named Reagan rushed to their rescue.
Kansas teen-Gov. Brownback Twitter controversy sparks reaction
Earlier this week, Emma Sullivan tweeted a disparaging remark about Gov. Sam Brownback. What happened next is a study in social media, publi
It’s Not What it looks LikeIt’s Not What it looks Like
Home; Contact; About. Subscribe for RSS LWD on YouTube Follow our Tweets LWD. HOME; NEWS; VIDEO. Cute Dog Videos; Funny Dog Videos. HEALTH;