I’m sure you’ve all heard about the crazy social media blow up caused by Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ last month. After getting on Chef Gordon Ramsey’s bad side on Kitchen Nightmares, the couple’s social media channels blew up with negative comments. No need to rehash what happened during that nightmare (although you can read about it here). Yet it is important to pick up some social media lessons from this hilarious meltdown and to make sure that your company never commits these blunders!
1. Point the conversation offline.
When receiving online criticism or negative comments from your “fans”, the most important thing is to point the conversation offline. Respond to their message, be polite and direct them to a person they can contact for assistance
2. Watch your spelling, grammar and Caps Lock.
The online communities are ruthless; don’t give them extra ways to make fun of you. Make sure you check your spelling, have proper sentence structure and don’t use Caps Lock.
3. If there is a large backlash, do not respond to all comments.
Much was posted criticizing the way the bakery conducts business both on their Facebook page and on a popular site Reddit. The Bouzaglos started responding to all comments in a very defensive way. They were rude, swore and called out each of the posters while writing in all caps and making spelling mistakes. If you find yourself in a situation where a lot of criticism is being aimed your way, do not respond to each comment. Instead respond to a select few to sort out the accusations (not to cause more drama) or post an update with clarifications. It may be best to contact a public relations crisis specialist to craft a well thought out press release to distribute on your site and social media channels.
4. Don’t be hostile, don’t antagonize.
Do not give the public a reason to hate you. With every status update from the Bouzaglos , people wanted to push their buttons even more. Why? Because it was super easy! Don’t become more of a target by being defensive and hostile. You should sound sincere and sort out the problem instead of causing a bigger one!
5. Don’t give them something to laugh about.
This social media disaster went viral, mainly because the owner’s freak out was hilarious. In a social media crisis, don’t give them something to laugh about! React only when necessary, and don’t lose your temper. You must remain professional and diffuse the situation instead of making it worse.
There you have it: 5 lessons to take away from this viral social media disaster. Hopefully your company will never face criticism, but if it does make sure you have the right tools (and people) to prevent it from escalating. We at Mason would have never let Amy and Samy act this way!