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5 lessons from a social media meltdown (PHOTOS)

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When Samy and Amy Bouzaglo decided to appear on an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare, we’ll bet they never thought they’d end up as an example of an epic social media fail.

The husband-and-wife owners of Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro in Arizona were apparently such a “nightmare” to deal with (not surprising, given they apparently went through 100 staff in one year) that Ramsay fired them.

Then, Reddit users found the episode and began to lash out on the social media site. The owners then took it upon themselves to respond to their haters on their official Facebook page:

amy bakery FB 1 amy bakery FB 2 amy bakery FB 3

The drama has generated much talk about what not to do on social media when your organisation is facing a crisis, customer or employee backlash. Here are some of our tips to avoid an Amy’s Bakery saga of your own:

1. Don’t respond if you don’t need to
Everyone has an opinion – some good, some bad. If you customers or employees are generating online hate, make sure you pick your battles wisely. I would recommend dealing with as much drama as you can offline.

2. Don’t feed the trolls
Anyone who runs or contributes to conversations on blogs or websites understand that damage ‘trolls’ can do. Trolls purposefully attempt to piss you off, and responding to them will only make them stronger. Back away and curse loudly to yourself – not online.

3. Breathe before you post
Online warfare is not the time for fast reactions. Take a breath, count to 30 – whatever – before you decide to respond. It might take all your willpower not to say what you really want but remember – once something is on the internet, it’s there forever.

4. Whatever you do, don’t lie
Unfortunately, after all the drama, Amy’s Bakery decided to post this:

“Obviously our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked. We are working with the local authorities as well as the FBI computer crimes unit to ensure this does not happen again. We did not post those horrible things. Thank You Amy &Samy”.

If you want any chance of gaining back a positive reputation, don’t lie.

5. Don’t insult anybody
Yes, everyone posting on your company page might actually be a******s, but don’t call them that. It makes you and your company look petty and basically reduces you to the same level as the people you’re so mad at (Side note: writing angry words in capital letters doesn’t help much either).

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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