Social Media Crisis Management #4 – Pick Yourself Up

This will be the final instalment for social media crisis management. If you’re interested, do check out my previous posts on United Airlines, Zappos and HP and Icelandic volcano eruption. Adonai Training will be speaking tomorrow at Social Media World Forum, held at Suntec City, so do come down to say hello if you’re around the area!

Pre-post note: My focus for Domino’s Pizza is not so much on crisis management because they pretty much didn’t do much social media when they’re managing their crisis created by two of their ex-employees. I will, however, look at Domino’s Pizza from the angle of them using social media for their comeback. I thought this will be a good ending to the series. After all, revenge is sweet when you get to kick that social media tool’s non-existent butt. (Ok, literally speaking it sounds like a cheap thrill to kick a non-existent butt, but figuratively speaking you guys know what I’m talking about right? >.<)

Domino’s Pizza – The Malicious Prank
Where no cheese should go.
Two employees filmed and uploaded videos (videos have been removed) of themselves performing unhygienic acts on food preparation unto YouTube. By unhygienic I mean shoving cheese up the nose before putting them back on the pizza and rubbing the dish-washing scrub on his ass crack before using it to scrub pots. There, don’t you wish you didn’t ask? LOL.
After the videos went viral, many outraged viewers complained, sales dropped, customer trust plummeted and the brand reputation tarnished. The two employees are subsequently fired. After their CEO was notified by the public, an apology video was made and uploaded to inform the public of the cleaning of the store in question and assuring that this is an isolated incident. This crisis has shown how Domino’s Pizza was lacking in its social media efforts, prompted the company to learn this tools and this knowledge was harnessed in their turnaround campaign.

What Domino’s Pizza has done…
Yes, we can.
Around 8 months after the prank, Domino’s Pizza changed all of its pizza menu and used social media extensively to recreate its brand image.  It is able to embrace authenticity in it videos, honesty and transparency in social media by allowing live Twitter feed on its campaign website, even the bad comments get shown on it. Also, it has well crafted content of videos featuring its employees bringing out their personalities; a huge improvement from the apology video that their CEO was featured reading a message rather than engaging with the audiences.  Domino’s reported this week that its fourth-quarter profits rose to $23.6 million–more than double last year’s figure. And franchisees are enjoying better times as well, with store sales up 1.4 percent.
Learning Point: Learn from a crisis and have a come back
It was a mistake of their employees and the brand paid for it. Before the crisis, they do not have any social media presence. But once the crisis started, they have a Twitter page to update people about the investigations, a Facebook page to contain the spread and got their CEO to create a YouTube video to apologise for what their ex-employees done.  Using this new found knowledge on social media coupled with the brand’s honesty, they created an online campaign rejuvenating trust in the brand name.
When you’re facing a crisis of your own, learn from it and plan a comeback. Learn how to harness the social media tools that worsen your crisis and use them to aid your comeback campaign. This is because the people who lost trust in you are gathered at the social media tools that they used to consume information on your crisis so it serves as a good start to convince your detractors to your business! 

Elisha Tan is the Founder of TechLadies. TechLadies is a community for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers in the tech industry. Elisha is also the Developer Programs Regional Lead for Asia Pacific at Facebook.


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