How To Survive A Social Media Crisis


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If I am ever in hot water because of a mistake I made in social media territory, I want the social media manager for DiGiorno on my recovery team. As a survivor of domestic abuse, you can imagine my personal outrage when I saw DiGiorno hacked the #WhyIStayed trend on Twitter that was a conversation about Ray Rice and domestic abuse.

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How could a brand be so incredibly stupid to hack an emotionally sensitive hashtag?! After saying a few curse words under my breath, I went back to my day of monitoring social networks and endless meetings. I could not let this go, though. Not because my anger for DiGiorno’s social team kept growing, but because I actually thought the hashtag was about something else this morning, myself, and was surprised when I clicked on it that it was linked to Ray Rice’s wife staying with him in spite of an elevator tape showing him beating her unconscious. Let’s face it –> It’s an easy mistake. Easily avoidable, but also easy to get caught up in social media trends and forget to do your due diligence.

I decided to Tweet out my own abuse story (Using the Power of Social Media for a Higher Purpose) to raise awareness that you shouldn’t judge people in abusive situations, but rather empower them to leave, as so many incredible people did for me. A follower latched onto this, and sent me AdWeek’s coverage of DiGiorno’s debacle, knowing it would most likely outrage me. I responded, not kindly, and this is what DiGiorno sent back:

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Ladies and gentlemen –> THIS IS HOW YOU DO SOCIAL MEDIA. In literally ten seconds, I had a personal response from the community manager, that began this conversation:

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As promised, here is my post. What do you do when you make a mistake in front of the whole world on social media?! –> OWN IT. It takes more courage and brains for a brand to own its mistakes in front of the world, then try to put on some PR hat and spin it, or just remain silent. The team at DiGiorno did the ABSOLUTELY RIGHT thing by immediately owning that they screwed up, and personally responding to any and all that had an issue with their mistake.

The way this social media manager cleaned up his/her mess MORE than makes up for a moment of misjudgment. Think about it, people, social media managers are having conversations 24/7 that are seen by the entire world. They don’t get to have an editing session with their boss, or be condemned in private by their coworkers by a mistake they made on an internal document. Absolutely EVERY mistake they make is their in public for everyone to condemn. DiGiorno,

If a girl who experienced domestic abuse firsthand can forgive DiGiorno, then you certainly can. Maybe you can even pick up a few tips from their awesome recovery. I like the way the team over at SOCIALiTELL say it best:

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If you’re still busy harassing the brand, maybe it’s time to air out all of your mistakes in public so we can judge those, as well.

– Marji J. Sherman

3 thoughts on “How To Survive A Social Media Crisis

  1. Good post. In way too many situations today people try to avoid responsibility. Taking it elicits positive responses because that has become the exception even though it’s an admirable trait.

  2. “personal outrage”
    Christ. I am a survivor of domestic violence too. I saw my mother beaten to a pulp more times than I can count. But this was an ACCIDENT YOU FREAKING MORON.
    It is also a funny accident. This is what comedy is for.
    Incidentally – I bought a DiGiorno Pizza today because unlike some people who have too much sand in their va-jay,jay…I can see the humor in a situation.
    RIP Joan Rivers

  3. I’m always amazed when mistakes are covered up. It really is a simple and forthright solution to just adm

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