On Monday, I noticed that the latest post on the Domino’s Pizza Facebook wall read something like – who am I kidding, it read EXACTLY like – this:
“EWWWWWWW THE NEW SALAMI AT DOMINOS IS FUCKING SHITHOUSE. IT TASTES LIKE SOMEONES ARSE!!!!!!!YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK.”
At the time, I mused that – while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I’d rather gather my consumer feedback in a rather less public manner. Focus groups, for example. Or an online survey. Anyway, who am I.
Thing is, this raises one of those thorny social media issues. The whole thing about social media is that it is supposed to be an open and transparent dialogue. It’s free-to-air. Anyone can join in. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and if you disagree, then you should attempt to convert the other party through engaging and persuasive conversation. The medium is not the message. Oh – and this one really make me laugh – you cannot control the message.
But. When you get the sort of comment that Domino’s got on Monday, and you’ve got over 330k Facebook fans (who ARE these people, who want to share the fact that they ‘just order (sic) a Pastabowl and a Sandwich’? I don’t care! Although I do find it odd that you’re ordering a pastabowl and a sandwich from a caterer specialising in pizza) – well, no doubt about it, it’s damaging.
Here’s where the social media thing breaks down and all you can hear is the sound of social media gurus’ heads exploding. Yep – the basic principle of social media says everyone’s entitled, and therefore you cannot take the post down. But – the post is damaging to your corporate reputation – and you must take it down. What to do?
Simples (thanks, Aleksandr). You do what Domino’s has done. You take the post down. You censor the horrible mutant who thinks it’s a good idea to post comments of this nature on a public forum. You put an end to your Facebook group, release your fans back to their ridiculously needy litle lives – I’m sure they’ll find another large caterer to be their (only) friend – and start re-investing the marketing budget that you’ve just liberated into something that’s actually going to make a difference and deliver some real ROI.
Unfortunately, Domino’s stopped short of closing its Facebook group and you can still visit it and – should you wish – poke fun at the trolls, gnolls and dweebs who live there.
A big up to Domino’s however – I’ve been posting about the consumer need for Free Stuff over the last couple of days, and drawing the conclusion that social media cannot realistically satisfy this need. I still run with this opinion, but (thanks Domino’s) I’m forced to qualify it – you can use social media to publicise your free stuff amongst the trolls, gnolls and dweebs and – according to the stats – of 330k fans, 95 of them like it.
In fairness, Domino’s would probably have captured those people through its website without the social media aspect but – hey. I’m just an old grouch.