A concern for many businesses or business owners, that stops them from using social media, is a fear of upsetting people or getting a bad response. As much as all publicity is good publicity, as the saying goes, what do you do when you get a bad response to something on social media?

I give you ‘The Oreo Story’

Oreo and Kraft Foods wanted to support Gay Pride, they came out with the advert above, that very simply stated Pride, 25th June and a picture of an Oreo Cookie with the gay pride rainbow colours through the middle and then put the advert out there on social media. What do you think the response was?

There was good and bad, many people in the LGBT community went mad for it and were thrilled to see it but then there were those that are very happy to be ‘trolls’ or express their opinions in a very strong way, some even saying they would kill the children of those working at Oreo, or rape their wives while many ‘calmer’ (?) posters against gay pride were encouraging others to boycott Oreo cookies and Kraft Foods.

I often use this example when I am teaching in prison, talking about marketing and social media. I ask the prisoners what they think Oreo should / could and did do and the responses are interesting.

The most common response is to take the advert down but is this not showing a weakness? I think fair-play to Oreo for having a backbone and standing by this.

There is also the option of reporting the ruder people, of course this can be done but it’s not really going to achieve anything and Facebook do often take a while deleting things you report so this would be a slow process.

Some prisoners suggest you could reply to them but this is very tricky ground – if you reply to people like this you may not actually achieve anything. They won’t change their mind because you tell them to, they are clearly very stuck in this thought process and those with the stronger and more violent thoughts are people that just can’t be talked to.

However, and what is often not suggested, is to ignore it.

When you reply the post goes back to the top of the newsfeed, more people see it and more people get involved. By just ignoring it you are soon “yesterday’s news”.

If you have a reasonable complaint on social media, you can very publicly deal with it and show what great customer service you offer. However, if you get a ridiculous complaint or insult the best thing to do sometimes is just ignore it!

It’s okay to feel nervous about using social media for your business, why not book onto one of our social media workshops in Peterborough to give you that extra confidence?