Bata got into a mess that incurred a lot of losses- RM500,000 and a tarnished image to be exact. These losses came not because of their mismanagement or poor quality products but from fake news circulated online that traveled faster than they could control. Welcome to social media, Bata.
Image source: https://goo.gl/Mv1AvX
Back in February, the principal of Sekolah Agama Bandar Batu Pahat released a letter to its students forbidding them to buy the B-first school shoes because it allegedly had the word ‘Allah’ on it. ‘Allah’ is the sacred name of God in Islam and thus was blasphemous to have the inscription on shoes. It made its way to the media world and did significant damage to the brand- aside from the profit loss, Bata was forced to withdraw 70,000 pairs of the shoes in question. Having been cleared by authorities, the brand is now taking steps to learn from this ordeal and move on.
As a digital media agency, it is somewhat unsurprising to read news like these. Some competitors are so fixated on winning that unethical means are justified. Therefore, here are a few steps we at Marketing Connection have for you if you find yourself in a similar situation.
How to avoid your own ‘Alahmak’ moments.
Verifying your Facebook page does wonders in social media. The grey tick lets Facebook and users know your brand is the main, official page and encourages customers to access your page for official news instead. Any other pages set up to spread fake news will lack credibility when compared to your official page and damage can be controlled then. Furthermore, your page appears first when users search for your information in search results.
Due to the viral nature of controversial news, it is always important to be on your toes when fake news start to circulate and address the issue as soon as possible. Do what you can to prove your brand is right- show pictures, comment, post. The sooner you put out the flame, the lesser the damage caused to your brand and it may even bring an increase in customer loyalty as customers show their support.
Even when you are right, keeping a cool head is a great trait to have. DO NOT do anything that will discredit you in the eyes of social media justice ‘leaguers’. Another recent controversy involved Tatiana Nandha Kumar and organisers of Miss World Malaysia. Tatiana was crowned Miss World Malaysia 2016 but had been stripped of the title for criticizing the organisers for poor management, including National Director Dato’ Ann Lin Mei Yoke. Dato’ Ann responded with some evidence which casted doubts on Tatiana’s claims but also caused a stir when she deleted some users’ comments who sided with Tatiana. This proves that in social media, it is not important to only be right, you have to stay right until the end.
As a digital media agency, we understand things get a little tricky when there is a need to respond and face controversial issues, but with experience and know-how, they can be solved much easier than you think. Being a digital media agency requires expertise on this and we are confident in helping you jump over potholes and ensure a smooth ride on the path to success.
*Marketing Connection is a digital marketing company that specializes in website design and online marketing in Penang. We love to help new businesses to grow their business further.