With close to two billion active Facebook users, and an average of more than 400 million tweets sent per day, social media has undoubtedly transformed the way people share and consume information. According to a Statista study on the most popular social networks worldwide, Facebook rules supreme, with over 1,870 million active users and 18% market share.
While social media has managed to dissolve the traditional boundaries, creating a sense of proximity between brands and consumers; it has also made companies more susceptible to potentially damaging situations, creating a new challenge – social media crisis. The crisis can occur in any form and the level of impact can be big or small. The key is to react swiftly and remedy the situation, which is exactly what these top three brands did:
1. DKNY -
When the brand was accused on Facebook for using a photographer’s photo in one of their retail stores without permission
or providing compensation, DKNY quickly responded to their mistake with an apology, and a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA - the charity the photographer requested they support, instead of compensating him.This is a perfect example of not only handling a situation promptly and responsibly but also sympathetically and strategically.
2. Ruffles Chips: Part of the massive Frito-Lay empire in the US, Ruffles chips is an extremely popular product in Brazil. Trouble started brewing when a jpg image was published by someone in Brazil on Facebook that went viral, inferring that customers were being cheated by the brand due to the amount of ‘air’ in each packet of chips. With a clear vision of how the product is made, Ruffles responded eloquently using a visual infographic on Facebook, explaining exactly how Ruffles chips are made and just why the air is needed to protect the chips. The brand took this a step further and produced an enormous bag of Ruffles to show just how important air is to packaging the chips. They then took it to the streets of Brazil for people to test it out.
3. Southwest Airlines: When Southwest Flight 345 landed nose first at LaGuardia causing patrons injury, the company took to social media to update customers on the situation. This allowed the company to control the story before other news outlets got hold of it - a perfect example of effectively handling a difficult situation before it turns into a crisis, using social media. Quick response time and open, honest communication were key in helping the brand maintain good faith with its customers.