Social Media Blog

Controversial Facebook Comments – Essential Tips

Posted by on 16 Jul 2015

Recently, The Raw Store in Thornbury, Victoria came under fire by social media warriors near and far after the owner labelled customers of neighbouring business, vegetarian pop-up restaurant Lentil as Anything, ”drug addicts” and “hippies.” 

The neighbouring business, Lentil as Anything, is a restaurant that adopts the “pay as you feel” strategy, relying on the generosity of patrons in paying for their food and drinks. The Raw Store posted a status on its Facebook page stating that the restaurant was attracting “an odd assortment of misfits including drug addicts out of their mind, smokers, homeless people, vegans, hippies and anyone else wanting ‘free’ food and coffee.” The post was quickly deleted but not before it went viral and received a barrage of offensive comments and complaints.

The Raw Store tried to apologise but that only attracted more criticism. In the end the business decided to shut its Facebook page down. The owner has since said that her “criticism was a mistake and small businesses need to be careful what they say on Facebook.”

Have you ever thought about what your business might do if it came under fire for a post put on its Facebook page?

Here are a few tips: 

  1. Post a genuine apology – avoid use of the word “but.” 
  2. Respond and address complaints promptly but discreetly. While you want to try and stop the influx of comments, you don’t want to inadvertently produce a ‘Streisand Effect.’ On the other hand, inactivity may appear as though you are trying to ignore the issue. This may be more appropriately done via a private message. 
  3. If possible, explain what you are doing to resolve the situation or plans moving forward. 
  4. Don’t rely on intentions alone – look at your wording and ensure it can’t be misconstrued. 
  5. Above all, think about what you are posting before you post it.

If you need assistance in addressing or dealing with any complaints you have received via Facebook or any other social media medium, please contact our Digital Media & Technology team in Parramatta and Norwest.