I get it, social media is the new kid on the planet. He wears his pants a little tight, and why the heck are his glasses so big? But do we really have to blame poor social media for every bonehead public relations move?
It seems like celebrities and businesses alike have a nasty habit of saying something incredibly stupid and then when the inevitable backlash comes, there’s a half-hearted apology and then they go kickin’ the new kid. “We’re just learning how to use social media” or they take their ball and go home … and hire a firm? (I’m lookin’ at you Ashton @aplusk!)
Take the recent horror show that is Boner’s BBQ. A restaurant complains about a customer on their Facebook page in a particularly nasty fashion and then gets called out on it. And what do they do? Blame Facebook, of course. They need to learn how to “better use social media.” As if they forgot to read the training manual that comes with new social networks that explains to business owners not to publicly trash their clientele. Perhaps they explained to their employees that yelling at customers isn’t okay, but forgot to give the marketing guy that memo?
And then there’s celebrities like Ashton Kutcher who say dumb things on Twitter about child abusers, and then when he gets called out on the idiotic comment, he evaluates, takes himself off social media and then hires a firm to tweet his most authentic thoughts. Methinks the point got missed.
Sure, there’s lots of things to learn about how businesses and personalities can best use social media tools, and a lot of things aren’t intuitive. But, if you are prone to making dumb decisions or saying things that will bite you in the butt – it’s not social media’s fault, it’s your fault for giving yourself such a broad platform.