Social media has become a vital component of a companies operation. The successful utilization of social media can create an advantage for a company over its competition. Social media interactions “are materially impactful, unavoidable, and so ubiquitous that no business can afford simply to ignore them.” (Wollan, Smith & Zhou, 2010). The management of social media is vital because once something is posted on the Internet; it’s there for eternity. If something goes wrong on a company’s social media, the impact could be devastating. Examples of the successful use of social media are a plenty, but what happens when the use of social media goes terribly wrong?
Example 1: Nestle
Nestle landed itself in a PR nightmare when the employee controlling their social media accounts responded to a customer in an antagonistic and sarcastic manner. Although some might consider this simply Nestle policing their own Facebook page, some thought this was insulting to their customers.
Example 2: Burger King
Now this example wasn’t really the fault of Burger King, however, they should probably have tighter security on their social media accounts. Burger King fell victim to hackers who changed their Twitter name to @McDonalds and began promoting McDonalds on their account. Burger King ended up with a boost of 30,000 followers by the time the incident had been resolved, however, the end result could have been a lot worse.
Undoubtedly, the constant management of social media is imperative, as well as extensive training on appropriate usage and how to deal with unhappy customers.
Wollan, R., Smith, N., & Zhou, C. (2010). The social media management handbook : Everything you need to know to get social media working in your business Wiley.