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The Biggest Publicity Mistakes Ever Made on Facebook

Services like Facebook have made it easier than ever for people to connect with their favorite brands. With hundreds of thousands of Facebook pages, businesses have connected with their customers in an immediate, conversational way. It promotes sharing and dialogue. One would think that business owners, employees and contractors hired on their behalf should know how to behave toward customers and how to use social media tools effectively. That is not always the case. Here you’ll find some tips on Facebook management and several examples of some of the biggest publicity mistakes committed by businesses on Facebook.

Know How to Use the Tools at Your Disposal
It’s encouraging when a business, big or small, solicits the opinions of their fans and followers. Customers love giving input; being part of a business’s creative process helps them for more engaged and invested in the brand. That’s probably what Frontier Small Business was going for when they created a poll asking their fans (small business owners) this open ended question: “My business could sell more if only I could…” The poll offered several options to answer the question. Unfortunately, the person who created the poll either didn’t know the poll needed to be locked or simply forgot. Either way, users had a field day creating some interesting, and often vulgar, poll options.

Manage Your Profiles Separately
More than once, companies have suffered the consequences of having their social media managers posting something to the business page or profile that was meant for their personal account instead. This was the case for Montana tourism’s Facebook, which was managed by MercuryCSC. The disgruntled employee had posted a status that read, “F this job” and stated that she was “Leaving Bozeman for good tomorrow.” The post garnered 36 likes and three shares before it was taken down. At the time, Montana tourism’s page had more than 150,000 likes, so there’s no telling how many people actually saw the post.

Don’t Antagonize Your Fans
According to Sprout Social, Nestlé’s Facebook page was established and well-liked. That is, until their social media manager found out that users had been altering the Nestlé logo and using it on their profiles. The manager posted an update asking that people refrain from altering logos. While making that request, however, the manager grouped those people in with link spammers and abusers. To make matters worse, the rep threatened to delete any posts that contained altered versions of their logo as a user’s profile picture. As is always the case, the threat of censorship resulted in backlash in a big way. Instead of responding reasonably to the backlash, the Nestlé rep stood their ground, saying, “But it’s our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.” Nestlé further crossed the line of hard-nosed into antagonistic when a fan warned them that they just lost a customer and the company rep responded with, “Oh please…it’s [not] like we’re censoring everything to allow only positive comments.” Moral of the story? Don’t alienate your audience, and be receptive to criticism.

Don’t Ignore Unhappy Customers
One of the worst things a business engaging in social media can do is ignore a customer complaint. This is the stance that Tiger Airlines took when a customer complained about its business practices on its Facebook page. Instead of addressing the issue, the company marked the post as irrelevant, which hid the post. The fans of the page were outraged, resulting in a backlash so strong the page had to be locked.

Worried about your Facebook account?Infintech Designs can help you make it more appealing, easier to manage and a better tool for your business. Speak to an expert today.

Infintech Designs
3110 Magazine St., #120
New Orleans, LA 70115


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