Social media is ripe with risk for companies as consumers use online forums like Facebook and Yelp to vent their frustrations after experiencing a product or service negatively.
Some companies have responded with aggressive tactics to create a favorable social media impression by paying reviewers. Yelp is now cracking down on this practice and exposing the businesses that hire them, according to the New York Times.
“With online and offline commerce increasingly driven by reviews, businesses can be irresistibly tempted to make themselves look better than they are,” the New York Times reported. “They commission favorable descriptions of themselves and may even bribe customers to say how terrific things were. The most unscrupulous write unflattering comments about competitors.”
Individual companies can take another approach to addressing a social media hiccup: humor.
A good example of strategically using humor comes from Bodyform, an SCA brand and female sanitary product based in the United Kingdom.
A man named Richard bemoaned on the company’s Facebook page how Bodyform had misled men with its advertising, showing women enjoying ‘that time of the month.’ The comment accumulated more than 95,000 likes, forcing Bodyform to address the issue.
The result was a video by Bodyform examining the truth of a taboo topic — menstrual cycles — through humor. The video was posted on Facebook and has become a huge success, garnering support from the public and media. This is an example of a social media response done right and a lesson that businesses may want to keep in mind the next time they experience a reputation crisis from social media.
Watch Bodyform’s video response: