It’s easy to bash Sapient Nitro for its social media faux pas yesterday. After all, they basically wrote the playbook on what not to do in digital and social media. Nevertheless I’ll shed a bit of a positive light, go out on a limb (to the very edge in fact) and declare that this is an opportunity for Sapient Nitro to create a really good social media case study and learning guide.
Want to convince clients not to over-react? Who is in a better position to offer such advice than someone who made the mistake and lived to regret it. Want to forcefully counsel clients not to delete those nasty Facebook posts? Guess who now knows about that. Want to get paid by clients to develop a crisis management playbook that can be followed when problems erupt? The team that didn’t have one yesterday today understands how essential it can be. Especially for global brands with multiple content creators. (Note: read Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto and you realize exactly how important it is to have instructions worth following when the situation gets so stressful that it’s hard to think clearly.)
If you want to use this as a social media case study, check out this sequence of events on Storify. It includes links to video, articles and tweets, along with my two cents.
If I were Sapient Nitro I’d take comfort in a few things. One, this too shall pass. It might seem omnipresent yesterday and today, but a week from now no one will really remember. United Guitar, Nestle’s and even Dominos all endured days of misery when they screwed up. But search Dominos social media on Google today and you get a story about re-invention.
Two, this story played out primarily on Twitter, a few blogs and AdWeek. At least so far. It didn’t really make the mainstream press and most clients don’t pay as much attention to the same blogs as ad industry types do.
And three, admitting mistakes and laughing about them, presuming you don’t repeat them, is something everyone can relate to. (We’ve all done something stupid.)
True some clients may prefer their agencies to know enough not to make such mistakes. But with a little bit of “positioning” Sapient Nitro ought to be able to turn this into a useful case study that talks about the eight mistakes not to make in social media.
- Don’t post the wrong kind of content
- Remember the web isn’t local, it’s global
- Engage proactively at the right time
- Don’t try and control the community or delete their comments
- If you do, archive everything
- Have a crisis management plan in place and follow it
- Try not to get defensive
- Accept the blame, apologize, and move on
If you want the beginning of a case study, check out the Storify post.