DEATH BY SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook, Twitter, et al, once considered super effective ways to build brands, are now at te forefront of bringing them down.
CASE STUDY 1
Devorise Dixon, an American citizen, claims he was served a deep fried rat instead of chicken at a California KFC outlet. He posts a picture on Facebook that goes viral across the globe. KFC denies the allegations, says it looks like a hoax.
A DNA test confirms the product was chicken and the incident was a hoax. KFC asks Dixon to apologize. Even KFC’s “fried rat” finally turned out to be a canard, for a good 10 days the brand was roasted on social media. But think of the damage done to the Brand’s Equity.
“Social Media has always been a word of mouth medium, and where there is a word of mouth there are half truths and hoaxes”, says Rajiv Dingra, Founder& CEO of WAT Consultant, a digital and social media agency.
CASE STUDY 2
UPFDA (Uttar Pradesh Food and Drug Administration) finds traces of lead and high percentage of MSG in samples of Maggi. The brand denies all allegations, says it’s safe for consumption.
Rumors of Maggi recall flood social media. The Brand denies the allegations, says its safe for consumption. Nestle also conducts tests but no excess lead in Maggi.
On June 5, Maggi is taken off the shelf but the brand still maintains that it is ‘safe’. Social Media is where it takes only one person to call your bluff. So its best to be honest. If you know you have messed up, its best o acknowledge, accept and apologize.
Brands it seems are learning the hard way to deal with social media.