For most companies, social media is a powerful communications
and marketing tool. It enables them to reach a mass audience within
a relatively quick timeframe and at minimal costs. However, for
some individuals social media is being used as a sword to name and
shame or to air their complaints, criticisms and
As a business owner or manager, you need to respond to customer
complaints made on your social media platforms. Your response needs
to be timely and appropriate. The response shouldn't be driven
by emotions, be defensive, late or inappropriate as this may only
add fuel to the fire, exposing your business to a social media
crisis. It could also cause more damage to your brand than the
original complaint. Caution should definitely be the order of the
day if you decide to rely on strict legal rights to demand the
removal of a post, tweet etc – removal can also escalate the
situation into a social media crisis.
Take for example the situation Nestle faced in 2010.
Greenpeace posted an online video that featured a worker
accidently biting into an orangutan finger instead of a Kit Kat. At
the time, Greenpeace was having an ongoing battle with Nestle over
its supply chain. The video included unauthorised and altered use
of Nestle's Intellectual Property including its logos.
Nestlé asked Google's YouTube video site to remove the
video on the basis of copyright infringement – a move that
not only angered Greenpeace supporters, but increased the number of
posts online worldwide.
Greenpeace supporters then changed their profile pictures to an
anti-Nestlé logo and posted boycotting Nestlé
messages on Nestlé's Twitter and Facebook page.
Nestlé attempted to regain control by deleting these
comments, posting "To repeat: we welcome your comments, but
please don't post using an altered version of any of our logos
as your profile pic — they will be deleted."
This response exacerbated the situation and resulted in a social
The best way to ensure your responses don't result in a
social media crisis or damage your brand, is to have a plan in to
place to manage complaints and criticisms. A plan will help
you communicate the right message to the right audience.
On Thursday 6 August 2015, I am hosting a breakfast on managing
social media risk. Nicole Matejic, a social media and crisis
communications advisor, will be sharing her tips on how to manage
your social media to avoid it managing you. I am looking forward to
Nicole's presentation and hope to see you there. For more
visit the Social Media Breakfast Briefing event page.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Differences in the expectations of suppliers and customers regarding the development of bespoke software, frequently lead to disputes regarding development timeframes, scope, cost, and intellectual property ownership.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).