The whole point of having a Facebook page is for a company to engage with its fans in a more personal, direct way. Being able to leave comments on a company’s page, or send them direct messages, lets consumers feel more connected to the brand, encouraging them to buy its products or use its services. As personal or engaging as a company Facebook page may be, however, there are still limits to how it should behave on social media. Bad Facebook behavior could lead to an irreparable meltdown.
In 2010, Nestle asked its fans to remove any profile pictures they were using with altered Nestle logos, threatening to delete any users who declined. This might have seemed like a harmless request to the chocolate juggernaut, but a brand should never threaten its fans. Even worse, when fans expressed their anger over the threat, Nestle went on the defensive:
If you don’t like what your fans are saying, don’t fight back. Try to resolve the problem as peacefully as possible without losing your cool.
Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro
Earlier this year, shady businesses practices by Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro – like stealing waitresses’ tips and repackaging goods from other bakeries – were exposed on an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. After the show aired, the company posted an acceptable (though emotional) response:
When the company’s Facebook fans expressed their disgust at the show’s revelations, however, the owners launched a full on attack:
There is no way to justify how Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro acted on Facebook (though they claim that their profile was hacked and the posts did not come from them). If an owner is emotionally invested in a company, negative criticism can really hurt, but owners must remember that their public persona can severely damage their business.
Every brand has consumers who have positive and negative views of the company and its behaviors. Seeing critical comments or messages first hand can be shocking and hard to take, so companies need to be very careful how they respond to backlash from fans on social media. Having negative comments doesn’t give you permission to engage in bad Facebook behavior.
Having a strong social media team in place can help companies avoid Facebook meltdowns like these. Download our free eBook on best practices for how to promote your brand on Facebook, or contact Social Fulcrum for a free consult on how your company can use social media to engage with consumers in a positive way.