Much to the Detriment of Renowned Store Woolworths
Woolworths Hummingbird Scandal has taken South Africa’s social media world by storm. Almost everyone has heard about it, and majority have spread the word via personal Twitter and Facebook profiles. It cannot be stressed enough the power of social media and the damage that can be done to a company’s online reputation if the social broadcasts are of a negative nature. Social Media liaison officers need to be in tune with social marketing principle in order to salvage their status.
What’s the Story?
If you haven’t heard by now (highly unlikely), the breakdown is as follows. Woolworths is being accused of using a local designers’ sample of a Hummingbird design, after meeting with her and turning her design down for manufacturing. The designer, Euodia Roets, spoke out on her blog, after stumbling across W Collection scatter cushions with her Hummingbird design printed on it.
Woolworths then found themselves in yet another social media storm. South African’s slandered the company in light of Roets’ blog post and the past few days, Hurricane Social Media pretty much destroyed Woolworths online reputation. Seeing as this isn’t the first incident, think here of the Frankie’s Olde Soft Drink saga, as well as the “Halaal Hot Cross Buns” tale, Woolies is no stranger to the negative effects of social media outbursts. However, one would think that this would ensure they would know how to deal with such PR calamities. Check out their official statement on the Woolworths website here.
Woolworths responded avidly to comments on Facebook and Twitter with generic responses that users picked up on and commented on.
Businesses should always remember the fast-paced environment of the social media world. By responding to messages on such a level, is it better to stay away from generic answers and just release a official statement? No doubt Woolworths have found themselves in a sticky situation. Social media is powerful and can cause serious damage to your brand. If you didn’t already know this, Woolworths SA is a tragic example to witness it first-hand.