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Bad social media strategy for any business

Stefan Hammond | May 31, 2013
Until last month, few had heard of Amy's Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro restaurant in the US city of Scottsdale, Arizona. It's a family-owned eatery offering slightly upmarket burgers, pizzas, and cakes.

But a person posting one negative review of a small eatery won't spoil the milk. Here's what you DON'T do: reply to the person saying things like: "My dough is made fresh every day from 100% organic ingredients. Perhaps your palate is not sophisticated enough to tell the difference."

Don't feed The trolls
On the Net, people will post comments just to draw reactions—these commenters are known as "trolls." The only thing to do with these comments (besides removing them if they violate a Web site's terms of service) is to ignore them. Many Netizens know the expression: "don't feed the trolls."

After reddit.com discovered Kitchen Nightmares episode, the pizza sauce hit the fan. Reportedly, the Bouzaglos jumped on Reddit and created fake accounts to reply to comments on their restaurant—their Facebook page was a similar zone of anarchy.

Responses were vitriolic, often in all caps, fueling more backlash. Had the owners been more civil and professional instead of blowtorching their critics, the backlash and aggression would have been tempered. Instead, responses like ""You people are all s---," . "Yelp s---, Reddits s---. Every s---. Come to here, I will f------ show you all" were featured on their Facebook page (which they later claimed was "hacked").

Know when To walk away
When facing unwelcome feedback on social media, sometimes it's best to just walk away.

Whether the comments are legitimate or troll-bait, sometimes your responses are the catalyst adding fuel to the fire. Stop responding and you may be surprised how quickly the negative comments dry up.

The Bouzaglo couple had another reason to walk away: they appear to have skeletons in their closet. According to the New York Daily News:

"Samy, 63, spent time in jail before he came to the United States....Amy, 40, also has a criminal past. In 2003, Amy, then known as Amanda Bossingham, pleaded guilty to using someone else's Social Security Number to apply for a bank loan of [US]$15,000 in 2001, records show. She spent 14 months in federal prison."

According to azcentral.com: "Salomon 'Samy' Bouzaglo...is involved in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement case to revoke his residency status, his lawyer said. Scottsdale immigration lawyer David Asser said the case against his client started two years ago and was the subject of a removal hearing."

"Records show that prior to her [2003] conviction, Amy faced four judgments in Colorado in 1998 and 1999 totaling about $14,000," said the azcentral.com story. "She was also sued in Arizona in 2000 for $3,229. The judgments appear to have arisen from unpaid debts that were turned over to collection agencies."

End result
Amy's Baking Company is now a certifiable Internet meme. The entire episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XjgHEctcy0

 

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