Facebook is much more than just a communication outlet for friends. It’s also a way for Facebook users to connect with the businesses and brands that they love. Unfortunately it is additionally a way for users to vent their issues and complaints with brands and businesses alike. When it comes to running your Facebook page, you need to be aware that Facebook is not always about brand recognition, but reputation management as well. Often, brands have to spend valuable time creating a positive image for themselves, rather than promoting their business products or services.
Social media has created an outlet for user complaints to go both public and viral which could result in the downward spiral of your brand’s reputation. There are several brands that have experienced this distressing scenario, which often has to be handled in a manner that will effectively get your message across without taking a negative stance towards any single Facebook user. It only takes one person’s voice to make an issue go viral when it comes to social media. Once the cat’s out of the bag, the only way to calm the storm is with experienced public relations experts. Here’s a couple of examples of large reputation management issues that have recently taken the Facebook network by storm.
Heineken was a recent victim of this situation. A photo was recently posted by a single Facebook user showing Heineken banners displayed at a dog fighting event at a bar in California. People immediately took to their Facebook page with outrage, complaining about how Heineken actually sponsored such an event. Heineken relied heavily on public relations as well as brand supporters’ common sense to help drive a thorough understanding of Heineken’s opinions towards dog fighting, which effectively resulted in users contracting their statements. It takes a lot of calm, yet stern pushback to get such overreacting to ease up.
Taco Bell is another victim of this type of viral posting. A single user stated that their ground beef was not actual meat, and took to Taco Bell’s page for answers Taco Bell like several other fast food chains have never used 100% real beef within their meat products. To combat this outcry from social media, they thoroughly and honestly explain how their ground meat is prepared and that it follows the regulations of the FDA. Through this honest explanation, Taco Bell has sustained their social media popularity without having to resort to negative attacks against people or other brands. Taco Bell was praised for weeks about how well they handled the situation. It would appear that it was such a sensitive issue, that the slightest upsetting of Facebook users would have put Taco Bell further into a hole than they were already in.
Reputation management, though not often needed, can be one of the most important aspects of your social media experience. Being able to react professionally, and in a way that people can connect with an instance can make or break the success of your social media campaign.