Social Media 101 ... Never censor your audience

Our account manager Kirsty shares her top tips for social media success; brands - take note!

According to research, 46% of consumers turn to social media to air their grievances believing that the public forum will force the company to be more accountable, and to make others aware of a bad experience.  We used to say that for every good experience with a brand, customers will tell 9-15 people, but for every bad experience they will tell over 20; that’s still the case, but with ready access to Twitter, Facebook and a plethora of review websites, that stat is now amplified into the thousands and beyond.

If you’re the person managing these online complaints, it can be frustrating.  It’s hard to see your brand criticised so publicly and there is always a fear that any one of these posts could go viral and bring more negative attention to your business.

We need only look at what happened to easyJet recently. Though not in our industry, it serves as a relevant example to any social media manager of how a well-intentioned response can backfire, bringing yet more criticism to the brand.

In case you missed it, a passenger on a flight Tweeted a photograph from the plane, showing a woman sitting in a seat with no back, the implication being that the carrier was not in compliance with aviation guidelines.  The photo didn’t tell the whole story however, as easyJet shortly confirmed that those seats were out of bounds and the woman had been moved to another seat for the flight.

Before easyJet was able to clarify the situation however, the original post had gone viral, gaining tens of thousands of shares and likes. In an effort to calm the storm and try and resolve the issue, easyJet responded, thanking the customer for bringing the matter to their attention and asking them to remove the photo so they could investigate further.

When someone calls out your brand in such a public forum, it’s natural to want the issue to go away as quickly as possible, especially when you need time to investigate the complaint fully and find a way to resolve it. However, by asking the customer to delete the photograph, the carrier came across as secretive, attracting even further criticism.

Although tempting, it’s never a good idea to ask someone to remove a photo or even a complaint just because you don’t like or agree with it.  At best, it can look like you’re trying to hide something and at worst, you’re denying your customers a voice. 

Though easyJet’s initial reply was flawed, it is vital to proactively monitor your social media notifications and brand mentions so you can respond quickly and effectively to any complaint with a carefully structured response.

If you’re looking for social media support and expert guidance, get in touch with the Full Circle team:

Kirsty Plank -

Alex Wise –

Matt Beasley –