For big companies, social media is one of the trickiest domains to manage. It’s truly a minefield: you’re putting a message on Facebook or Twitter in real-time, with the goal of sparking a conversation, and anyone can reply, uncensored. In the restaurant industry (especially fast-food), where a new social media strategy is tested seemingly every day, even the most well-intentioned post can cause serious backlash.
Social media disasters can take many forms. A campaign intended to crowd-source can backfire, videos of employees behaving badly can hit YouTube, restaurant owners or social media managers can post something crazy or unknowingly offensive, accounts can be hacked, a scorned employee can take to the internet. When a disaster hits, these companies need to do some damage control, and some handle it better than others.
The worst social media disasters are the ones that seem to snowball; what starts off as either an honest mistake or a small incident becomes bigger and bigger as more of the public gets wind of it and/or the company handles it poorly.