As a PR and social media professional, a person who blogs about Kansas City and a lover of cupcakes I was particularly caught off guard recently when a local cupcake shop publicly bashed a local dairy company for no longer supplying their milk.
Here’s the Facebook post:
This bothered me for a couple reasons:
- From a PR/social media perspective, the fact that whoever is posting to their Facebook account thought this was okay honestly blows my mind. It seemed very childish and unprofessional.
- From a person who blogs about Kansas City perspective, to see one KC local company beating up on another made me sad.
- From a lover of cupcakes perspective, it made me annoyed because I had been wanting to try their cupcakes for a long time, but now they are no longer a place I care to visit.
Add all of those things up, and the fact is that you shouldn’t air your dirty laundry in front of customers. They want to go in and enjoy their cupcakes. They don’t want to go in and feel bad for the bakery because they no longer have a certain brand of milk, or get upset with the milk company because it’s no longer at that shop.
Better ways the bakery could have handled it:
- Not posting anything negative about the previous supplier in the shop or online: The fact is that a lot of people probably wouldn’t have noticed that the milk was different anyway, so there’s no need to call attention to it. In the interim, put up a sign in the shop that states you’re sorry you’re out of milk, but you’re looking for a new vendor and hope to have a new supply soon.
- Prepare employees: Prepare talking points for employees in case a customer does ask. The talking points shouldn’t include anything negative about the previous supplier.
- Celebrate: They could have shared news about the new partnership in an exciting way through their social media channels without mentioning the old one.
- Do a promotion: They could have done a promo by giving away a free carton of the new milk to customers on the first day it was available and talked about their excitement about the partnership.
While business partnerships can be similar to personal relationships, companies shouldn’t react to losing a vendor the same way a high school girl may react to her boyfriend breaking up with her. And let’s face it, at the end of the day cupcakes and controversy don’t go hand in hand.
|Amy Stewart is a Senior Manager of Social Media Strategy for Intouch Solutions & author of great Kansas City-focused blog at beyondtheplazalights.com. Amy also tweets at @amylynnstewart, so be sure to check out her blog & twitter account. Thanks to Amy for sharing her insights!|
|Thanks to Amy for sharing her thoughts on this situation! It’s a great lesson that businesses can learn about how they treat each other in the social space. Have a comment or a similar experience? Share it in a comment!|