Everything you shouldn’t do when executing your social media strategy can be exemplified in one not-so-pretty package: Amy’s Baking Company.
In case you missed it, Amy’s Baking Company made quite the impression on viewers when the restaurant appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s reality TV show Kitchen Nightmares. The husband- wife duo, Samy and Amy tell Ramsay—no more than five minutes after arriving—that “There are a lot of online bullies and haters and bloggers. We stand up to them and I think we are the only ones that ever have as restaurant owners. They come and try to attack us and say horrible things that are not true because they are used to eating processed wood chips.” A baffled Ramsey later learns there is much more to the story. This was the first restaurant he has given up on before the “rehabilitation” phase which includes suggestions on how to improve the restaurant’s food, wait staff and bottom line.
One night earlier at Amy’s Baking Company, a customer expressed his frustration with the slow service, commenting on the fact that he had waited over an hour for a pizza. A delusional Samy gets in his face screaming expletives and threatening to call the police. Throughout the episode, we learn that the restaurant is notorious for kicking people out, screaming at customers, stealing tips from wait staff and losing employees – over 100 in one year to be exact.
The aftermath of their Kitchen Nightmares appearance has led to social media chaos for Amy’s Baking Company. Amy and Samy feel that they have been falsely portrayed both online and on the TV show, and have taken to Facebook to let the world know exactly how they feel.
There’s much more, but I think you get the idea. It’s pretty obvious that this is not an award-winning way to treat your customers. From insulting almost everyone to taking absolutely no accountability for their actions, Amy and Samy have proven to be not just kitchen nightmares, but marketing nightmares as well.
Let’s review some better ways to manage negativity towards your brand on social media:
- Acknowledge the problem and take accountability. Your customers more often than not will realize that you’re human and make mistakes.
- Take action to fix the mistake. Offer the customer an added value for free, reimburse them, or simply offer a sincere apology for any inconvenience.
- Treat your customers with respect. It goes without saying, but your customers should not be screamed at or disrespected. You are not likely to get repeat customers or a stellar reputation with an attitude like Amy’s Baking Company.