Use Social Media for Offense and Defense

Social media give people a forum and voice. Unfortunately, that includes people of all levels of intelligence and judgment. Case in point: Two Domino's Pizza employees in Conover, North Carolina, decided to shoot video in which one employee prepares a "secret recipe" sandwich that includes sticking shredded cheese up his nose then onto the sandwich. The video was posted on YouTube and spread rapidly. The location of the Domino's involved was determined quickly and the responsible persons identified. But, damage had already been done to Domino's reputation.

In a case of fighting fire with fire, Domino's responded to the disturbing video with a video of its own. Company President Patrick Doyle apologized to customers and tried to reassure an emphasis on quality and cleanliness. The message was posted on YouTube. Also, Domino's is using Twitter (@dpzinfo) to distribute information about its response to this situation.

Some people have criticized Doyle's response as scripted and calculated. While Doyle came across as a bit uncomfortable in the 2-minute clip, Domino's social media response should be commended. The very medium that put the brand in a bad light was used to set the record straight. The response was swift, and the use of tools like YouTube and Twitter allows Domino's to listen to what consumers are saying about its brand. If there are concerns arising from this unfortunate incident, Domino's will be better equipped to deal with them because of its ability to monitor what people are saying about the brand.

Link: USA Today - "Domino's Nightmare Holds Lessons for Marketers"

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