How to Handle Social Media Justice (for Brad’s Wife)
The Importance of Understanding Social Media Justice and Reviews
If you haven’t already seen Justice for Brad’s Wife, stop what you are doing and read it now. Here’s a link, it’s hilarious and worth the read. Funny right? Social Media Justice can be hilarious and brutal to your brand if you don’t handle it correctly.
In this scenario, Brad wants to know why his wife was fired after 11 years at Cracker Barrel. He asked a public question on their public Facebook page and it appears he was ignored. That’s where social media “justice” comes in. Justice should be in quotations there because what happened next wasn’t so much justice for Brad’s wife as it was a spiral of trolls and hilarity. Let’s look at some of the lessons your brand can learn at Cracker Barrel’s expense.
If your brand is ever faced with such a public question or criticism, respond. Respond as soon as possible. Cracker Barrel may have been able to head all of this off at the pass by just answering Brad with a “we are sorry that we can’t discuss it publicly, message us privately and we can chat.” The response may not have been enough for Brad and his wife, but it may have been enough to stop people from taking over their Facebook page.
Many companies that find themselves in this position are often ignoring the comment, review or remark. In this case, the people demanding #justiceforbradswife have turned a serious situation of job loss into a lighthearted troll party on Cracker Barrel’s Facebook page. If Cracker Barrel can’t find it within themselves to respond to Brad or his wife after ELEVEN YEARS (my favorite comment in the thread), they need to respond to the trolls or social justice advocates. At this point an update like, “We are sorry we can’t discuss the private details of one of our former employees, but we have reached out to the family and hope we can help discuss #justiceforbradswife.” It’s not perfect but it acknowledges why they haven’t responded and might quell some of the fire.
Truthfully, the fire on this one will die down on its own. Life on the Cracker Barrel Facebook page will go back to discussing biscuits and syrup soon enough, but the entire mess could have been avoided by a swift response from the onset.
It’s incredibly important to take the comments and reviews on your public social media pages seriously. And really, maybe nothing could have prevented this particular situation from spinning out of control, but an effort would have been noticed.
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