social media mistakes could cost you, just ask Amy’s Baking Company

Gordon Ramsay finally met his match…

His show, Kitchen Nightmares, places him in fledgling restaurants across the US in hopes that he can turn their businesses around.

Not really my cup of tea, but when I happened to read an article about one restaurant on Yahoo! News I found myself intrigued.

As I live in Japan, I crossed my fingers that I could find the show on YouTube – Bingo!

I unrolled my yoga mat, started stretching and turned on the show.

It wasn’t long before I had abandoned my stretches, it was that enthralling.

Now, you might be asking yourself — “What the heck does an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares have to do with social media?”

Everything.

We all know that social media has taken the world by storm, especially since the release of the “The Social Network.”

Today stories like Amy’s Baking Company can go viral almost instantly thanks to sites such as Twitter, FB and LinkedIn.

If you’re not aware of just what happened, in a nutshell — The owners of Amy’s Baking Company went as some people refer to it today as “full retard.” In other words, they had an epic meltdown.

Unfortunately, they did so on Facebook, BIG MISTAKE.

Boom – VIRAL.

Not even Gordon Ramsey was able to turn around the situation, choosing instead to walk out the door for the first time in six seasons.

After watching the show, I was amazed that the show was still in business and I believe it’s just a matter of time before they will have to close their doors…and hide. You see, their reactions online and Gordon Ramsay’s show have brought with them, overnight infamy.

In essence, they did everything wrong. However, we can learn a lot from failures so take a look at some of their biggest mistakes they made online.

1. Unable to handle complaints

Complaints happen in every business. In fact, if you’re not getting complaints then something’s wrong. You can’t please everyone is something we need to get used to. What we can do is learn how to better serve our client√®le. Complaints present us with a golden opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal fan. We must learn to appreciate complaints because they are some of the best feedback there is (if it is not vicious and simply made up). After all, there are lots of people who will simply choose to walk out the door and not say a word, but they show their disapproval by taking their cash elsewhere.

2. Being aggressive (and that’s putting it mildly)

This is a big mistake online. Remember, the written word is not the spoken word. You must choose your words much more carefully for two reasons.

  1. It’s more common for us to misunderstand what is written.
  2. Once it’s out there online, it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

Remember, as the saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” How do most people react when shouted at? They shout back. That’s no way to run a restaurant (as you will see in the videos below) or act online.

3. Don’t try to beat them at their own game

Amazingly, many of the people that spam Facebook pages or comment on forums are trolls. It’s what they live for. They love animosity. They seek it out because they enjoy seeing people getting riled up or trying to fight back. And not only are they good at what they do. Never start a fight you won’t win.

4. CAPS

Capitol letters are the equivalent to shouting and can downright rude. Take a somewhat harmless sentence such as “that’s not true” and it becomes “THAT’S NOT TRUE.” The latter screams desperation, anger and frustration. Not something any business owner would want to convey.

5. Don’t react right away

Being in control of our emotions is a sign of maturity. Unfortunately, some people never learn to keep their emotions in check and respond immediately without having taken the time to truly consider what was being said, and how they should respond. Personally, I’ve learned to take a day to respond to negative emails or serious topics because 1) I want to look professional and more importantly, 2) I don’t want to say anything I’ll regret. It might also be a good idea to have a friend look over your responses before posting them, they will let you know if you’re doing the right thing. And never underestimate the power of silence. There are times when saying nothing is the right course of action.

6. Never lie.

After the show aired it came to light that the cakes sold at Amy’s bakery which Ramsay liked so much (and which had garnered some positive reviews) turned out not to have been made by them. When Ramsay asked Amy was if she made the desserts, she flat out lied. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s hard to keep lies hidden forever and once uncovered, people start wondering what else you’re lying about.

This truly is a must-watch video for anyone who wants to know what NOT to do.

Adrian Shepherd

 

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