Social media crises show the wild Web

Engaging with your audience online sounds great — until it’s not. The online interface makes people feel distant from others, which can lead to strong comments online. Social media crises show how the Web can go wild.

The British supermarket chain, Tesco, faced a situation in 2013 where significant portions of their “all-beef burger meat” was revealed to be horse meat. Tesco had an active Twitter account a prescheduled a lot of content for the account. As the scandal was coming to light, a day-end tweet had unfortunate connotations.

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The reaction on Twitter was deafening.

Stories like the one at Tesco and the three companies I linked on Monday show the challenges of communicating on social media when people aren’t happy.

Kerpen’s advice is clear, though. It doesn’t matter if public reaction is good or bad, respond quickly. Don’t delete customer comments, and apologize like you mean it. Engaging with audiences is always important, even when it’s not fun. Our exercise today will look at different ways to respond when a company faces a crisis on social media.

Friday’s reading is Kerpen chapters 8-11.

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