Thursday, June 5, 2014

We are the Internet! We will Destroy You!

My father owns a pawn shop. A very successful pawn shop. Not the type of pawn shop like the one you see on television ran by the family that gets strange and unusual items that they pay thousands of dollars for. Nope, my dad has a normal pawn shop with normal stuff. My father is very good at what he does. He's very knowledgeable in the items that are most popular; jewelry, firearms, and electronics. Just looking at something without inspecting it he can give you a really good idea of what its worth and what it can be resold for.  Some say he's best in his area. Did you know what he's not good at? Marketing, online public relations, social media and I don't think many business owners are good at them either. People don't open retail stores, restaurants, and other small businesses because they can't wait to start posting to their Facebook page. A lot of times they make huge mistakes.
This is One Block West Restaurant located in Virginia. They post some really cool and engaging stuff to their Facebook page.


Great pictures, nice engagement, and they communicate back to their customers. Any social marketer can tell you that this is awesome and great for business. Unfortunately One Block West Restaurant posted something lately that was not so good. Apparently a customer left a bag full of coins, approximately $5 worth, on their table as a tip to their server.  The restaurant decided to post a picture of the change to their Facebook page and tried to "Internet Shame" the customers who left it. 

People on Facebook did not take the posting of the image lightly. They started to show anger towards the restaurant and accused them of being unappreciative. The comments started to pour in:

"I was a waitress for quite a long time going through school and if the ladies I served put their $5 tip in change in a bag I would have thought it very sweet to make it easier for me to pick up from the table"

"Last I checked, change in $5 is equivalent to a $5 bill. Not sure what they were whining about. It was pretty courteous of them to put it in a baggie as well."

"Wow. Ungrateful much? Geez."

Even people who had never been to the restaurant or even live in the Virginia area started slamming the restaurant on Facebook by posting negative reviews.

Some users came to the side of the restaurant.

One Block West has taken the post down but their Facebook reviews have tanked and reputation online, at the moment, is not so good. 

Businesses do make mistakes. Especially when it comes to handling their own social postings and online public relations. Bad thing is some users are rush to bash and "kill" a business online when they have screwed up, good thing is that the Internet has a short attention span. The will blow over and its highly doubtful that One Block West will lose revenue over this blunder. If it would have been a bigger mistake all of that could be different. They could of lost money, lost employees, or even gone out of business but if Amy's Baking Company can survive, they any business can. 

Are social media users too reactionary when it comes to small businesses making mistakes on social sites? 

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