I didn’t plan to write this post, but wanted to jump my editorial queue to share a terrible example of business social media use.
Earlier today, Boners BBQ in Atlanta, GA posted the below photo (but they didn’t blur or blot out her name – I did that) on their Facebook page.
After taking a look at past posts and their website, they obviously share content that is risqué, but this post has crossed a line that shouldn’t have been crossed – especially by a business.
The Downward Spiral
The first mistake was obviously posting the photo and comments, but they didn’t end there. Right before my eyes I saw mistake after mistake. Deleting the offending post was actually a very wise idea, but how they handled the issue was littered with mistakes. Some of the mistakes were:
not offering an apology and/or explanation
consistently deleting every post that referenced the offending wall post
removing people from the page and preventing those people from posting (I was one of them)
attempting to sweep the issue under the rug and pretend that it didn’t happen.
There are probably many lessons that can be gleaned from this example, but I want to highlight two:
Act appropriately. Even if your brand is edgy, there is always a line. Know what that line is and NEVER cross it.
Don’t hide mistakes. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to bury mistakes. The more you try, the more they are highlighted. Address the mistakes head on. Take a page from the Red Cross’ playbook.
The impact of this mistake goes far beyond those who saw the posts. Blog posts like this one will use this as an example of what not to do. People will be talking about this long after today. I’m surprised that Boners BBQ didn’t learn from past mistakes of companies like Nestle.
UPDATE: Boners BBQ posted the following on their page:
Would like to apologize for an inappropriateness on our part.
I’m not sure how sincere or valuable this apology is.
What are your thoughts on this mistake? What would you have done?