With the highly advanced digital marketing strategies in today’s world, social media has been interpreted and established as the most important aspect of the marketing strategies. But, social being such a vast platform, has a lot of branches and diverse users and it basically is an encompassing platform. Due to this, a crisis may often arise when branding and advertising processes are taken into consideration and the companies are well prepared to combat the crisis that may arise. But, it was not all the same scenario when we rewind back to the past few decades. Social media crisis has been there even before you think it was, such a crisis arose for our all time favorite, Domino’s Pizza! Seems hard to believe right? Well, it is true! Let’s dive straight into the story!
In 2009, before Domino’s Pizza even had a presence on most of the social media platforms, they found themselves in a situation that launched them into a viral attack. But, what really landed them into such a problem? Well, two Domino’s Pizza employees in North Carolina, filmed a “prank” video in the restaurant’s kitchen and decided to post it online. In the video posted on the social media platforms, a Domino’s employee prepared sandwiches for delivery while putting cheese up in his nose, which violated health-code standards. The video went viral, almost instantly and a huge social media crisis was the result. It was such a big deal back then, you can’t even imagine!
The employees told the executives that they never actually delivered the tainted food, still Domino’s fired the two employees. But, it was such a big crisis and it seemed far from being over or resolved.
We, the customers are the constant factor in all the businesses. A lot has changed, with the advancement of ages and technologies, but we are the constant factor and we will be the constant one. To please us is a tough job to do, but to offend us, it is as easy as cutting a piece of paper with a pair of scissors! People really don’t change, the ideas, mode of advertising, trending topics, and everything else may change but the nature and characteristics of human beings doesn’t change. We are quick to act to the negative things and we take time to absorb in the positive ones. Taking all these psychological factors into consideration is important before developing a social media crisis plan, but back in 2009, Domino’s was not well-acquainted with these factors so they landed in a huge problem and it took a lot of time to resolve this issue. Now, let’s see how Domino’s responded to this problem.
Initially there was a response by Domino’s regarding this problem. They issued a Press Release, denying distribution of contaminated food. But, unfortunately, this was an ineffective response, catered towards the wrong audience, since the crisis emerged from social media.
But, Domino’s didn’t just give up! They took into consideration such factors that literally changed the dynamics and made Domino’s what it is today! Domino’s is a popular favorite of the youth, and it became so by developing some special strategies. Let’s take a peek into that.
Domino’s ultimately addressed the crisis situation via social media. Let’s see what they did:
- Patrick Doyle, the President of Domino’s USA, read an apologetic response.
- He also reassured that the North Carolina kitchen was closed and thoroughly disinfected.
- Domino’s also created a Twitter account, @dpzinfo, to address the comments.
But, that was not it! They incorporated certain strategies as well that helped them to regain the trust and build the brand name.
Domino’s Pizza learned that it is very important to keep in touch with the media web community at all times. They started a Pizza Turnaround campaign to acknowledge the problems they were facing and reinvent their pizza, along with extensive media coverage, documentaries, promotions, advertising, etc.
So, from this incident and crisis of Domino’s back in 2009, we get to learn that we should be well prepared for any unforeseen danger and such attacks! But, how to deal with it? How to plan a work of action in case of any such crisis? Luckily, there are a few concrete steps that the companies can take to defend against the unprovoked attacks.
So, learn from the mistake that Domino’s made and try to incorporate the good things and strategies that they put into action. Your social media crisis plan is a very important strategy, that each and every company should take into consideration. Such dangers do not come with a flash warning but we can definitely do things and combat all the red flags and hurdles. So, make sure to learn from Domino’s and make your company a better one and be well-prepared!