Do not get lost in the storm! Read further and learn more about a very interesting and important topic in the world of digital marketing.
What is a shitstorm?Shitstorm describes the massive and public criticism of a company, a product or a public person that is usually carried out in social networks and subsequently virally disseminated. According to Bruno Bucher this process does not only happen on a certain platform or the Internet but also expand to all possible media channels. And it usually goes to a revolt, which may have different sources, but is rapidly evolving into a veritable mass of bullying against a certain company or person
The phenomenon is usually triggered by an initial criticism, justified or not, that subsequently loses its objectivity and factual accuracy and becomes increasingly aggressive and /or abusive.
What can be done?According to Bruno Bucher it is crucial for those concerned that they behave correctly in the eye of the storm and do not pour fuel to the fire in the form of confirmation and so nourish the prejudices further. A so called script, which will be prepared by the social media team, is recommended
The preamble of such a script might look like this:
“We note that major accusations are made against our company.We make every effort to investigate these allegations and to go to the buttom of any discrepancies in our business processes and to eliminate these. We will inform the public about our next steps as soon as possible.”
An example of reacting wrong to a shitstrom
In the year 2010 Nestlé was confronted with a shitstorm which was caused by the environmental organization Greenpeace. Greenpeace criticised the usage of a great quantity of palm oil for producing Nestlé’s KitKat. The shitstorm was initiated through a social media campaign with a shocking YouTube video (to see the video click here). This campaign spread rapidly. Consequently Nestlé wanted to prohibit the video by switching off certain fan pages in order to escape the discussion. But the opposite happened. The attention increased and the video spread even more rapidly in the net than before.
“Spiegel Online” analysed the Greenpeace campaign. The graphic above shows how the usage of the term “palmoil” after the start of the campaign on blogs, social media and on news pages exploded.
The example of Nestlé shows how important it is to be prepared to a shitstorm and to react accordingly in order to protect your reputation.
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