Brian Watkins' Blog
What Your Company Can Learn From Domino’s Social Media Nightmare
It’s amazing how much damage to a brand two jerks can do with a camera and a YouTube account.

We’ve heard stories about the sleeping Comcast technician, Motrin moms, Dell Hell and more.
But this gross video sets the bar for social media disasters. (You can see it here if you really want to, but you have to promise to read Brian Solis’ great post first.)

Learning From the Social Media Crisis

If you examine almost every corporate social media crisis, the company that experienced it later chose to embrace social media. Comcast has since embraced social media. They empowered Frank Eliason and his team to use Twitter to provide customer service. Dell launched Ideastorm.
Your company may not experience a crisis of the same magnitude as the Domino’s debacle (let’s hope not.) But chances are you will have a social media crisis some day.

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch this video of how Dominoes chose to respond.

Lessons to Learn From Domino’s

Robert Scoble started a great discussion on Friendfeed about why Domino’s response is going to be the textbook for other companies to learn from when it comes to social media crises. Here are some of the best points:
  1. Respond Quickly
  2. Video is more powerful than words
  3. Let the CEO respond
  4. Speak Like a real person (“it sickens me.”) The didn’t use marketing speak
  5. Respond where the crisis started, not just on your own platform
  6. Embrace the Influencers - He thanked influencers for helping Dominos understand the issue and making sure that others knew about it
  7. Take bold steps to demonstrate that the crisis is over (They closed the store to “sanitize” it)
  8. Be decisive (they immediately fired the employees and pressed criminal charges)
Don’t Wait Until a Crisis to Embrace Social Media

Domino’s has since started its own Twitter account. This is a good way to communicate with customers. But you don’t need to wait for a crisis to start using these tools. During a crisis, an established blog, Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, Twitter account can instantly get your side of the story out to the world. If you wait to address an issue or hope it goes away, you lose the ability to frame the story the way you would describe it. And it rarely goes away.

Put in Place a Crisis Response Plan Now

  • Identify potential crises and who will respond in each case
  • Have Communications Channels in place
  • Develop a basic template for responding to crises

Which companies have you seen do a good job in communicating during a crisis?

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