Using Facebook To Damage Your Brand

Friday, September 11, 2009 11:02 | Filed in Branding, Social Media, Technology

Well, okay, you probably don’t want to be doing this, but if you’re not aware of what is being posted on Facebook about you, you can be pretty sure that someone will be saying something negative about you. I’ve looked at this sort of thing in relation to the public sector when I asked Do Councils Need A Facebook Presence? but it’s not just the public sector that needs to be aware of this.

If people are talking about you in a negative way, it can damage your brand. It can get worse than this too: if people identified as belonging to your company are talking about your company’s products, employees, customers or competitors in a negative way, this can be damaging to your brand and generate a whole pile of bad publicity as the Dixons Store Group found out…

Staff at shops owned by the Dixons Stores Group have been caught insulting customers on a social networking site.[...] In it staff, many of whom used their real name, post comments about encounters with members of the public, many of which heap insults on them. Among many different insults, customers are called “stupid”. One staffer at a store asked if it would be acceptable to use a cattle prod on customers who prove difficult to satisfy.BBC News: Gadget shoppers branded ‘stupid’

And it’s not that easy to remove this information either. After reading the article, I went along to this group on Facebook and managed to find a few different things which don’t sound too flattering for the group…

How often do you find that your customers (guests in the DSGi B&B) are taken aback by the costs of such things like Belkin cables, Norton 360, Office, tech guys services, even delivery and install charges? [...] Why? cos the company doesnt actually advertise the profit making items! all the adverts are product ONLY.Why are customers often surprised when we try to sell them add ons/essentials

So here you have someone self-identifying as a Dixons Store Group employee who is suggesting that the adverts don’t actually provide value to the customer, because they don’t actually tell customer the cost they will need to pay to get their item up and running…

Then there’s this one, which is even more damning:

Now we all know the delivery guys have never grasped the concept that they are an integral part of good customer service and conversely can in one fell swoop undermine all of our efforts with their incompetence, rudeness and inappropriateness with customers. That much is kinda expected. [...] I am therefore stunned and amazed at the lengths the company is prepared to go to piss off customers and sod them around over a piece of paperwork and an arse covering exercise.Efforts DGSi will go to to piss off customers in the name of service

And then of course, there’s the stuff they made the national media for — calling customers idiotic. But it’s not just Dixons Group, there are others out there — although briefly looking around I didn’t find any in the same league as the Dixons group employees for shooting themselves in the foot. Besides which, the Dixons Group employees who have posted this sort of thing will be in the shit anyway now it’s made the national media, and I didn’t want to drop anyone in the shit who wasn’t there already.

Obviously, some sets of employees are more sensible than others:

PLEASE NOTE -This group is just for fun – NOT to insult the company or customers! Any negative comments will be deleted! Any comments written on this group are done so at the individuals risk.TESCO employees

Please note, all Facebook quotes in this article were taken from Groups where you do not have to be a member in order to gain access to all of this information. All you need is a Facebook account…

There’s nothing complicated about what you have to do: if you are an employee of a company be careful about what you say about them online. Assume that anything you say online can — and will — be traced back to you and that everyone who knows you will know about it. And it might be worth checking exactly how public posts on a particular Facebook group are before you start ranting on it…

If you are an employer, make sure that your employees know what is expected from them when they use social media (in or out of work time) and ensure that you are monitoring what is said about you online.

Or you too might find yourself featured on the BBC…

Still, on the bright side, it appears that at least kids realise the importance of online privacy, even if the grown-ups don’t:

Of the 13 to 16 year olds 58% said that keeping personal information private was the subject in which they needed the most help and guidance. Children aged seven to 11 were not asked the question because of the high incidence of ‘don’t know’ as an answer in a pilot survey Ipsos MORI, the research company which conducted the study, said.

The second most common concern that young people had about going online was about the security of information. The survey found that 28% of 11 to 16 year olds said that they needed advice on keeping information secure Young say they need help and guidance with online privacy

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6 Comments to Using Facebook To Damage Your Brand

  1. Aris says:

    July 11th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Your brand is how customers feel about you..Your personal identify is how people react on your communication. In this new media or you can say MEDIA age you have to do your branding in Nth dimensions. Well yes, anybody can do communication by creating a page/profile on facebook or continuously posting tweets on twitter but you can not do effective communication without having in-depth knowledge about social media engagement. You need to learn the ability to spread your story and nudge people down the sales funnel at zero incremental cost.

    If you don’t like change you are going to like irrelevance even less.

    If anybody is interested on learn the ability to spread your story using facebook or interested in the development of a facebook app or custom facebook page in most effective manner than contact us at

  2. Facebook Application Development says:

    October 19th, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Well it totally depends how your are using facebook if your customers are happy from you so they will never say anything wrong about you on Facebook.

  3. Facebook App Developer says:

    February 15th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Mr commenter right..It’s totally depend upon your product/services.If your product/services is poor so it’s necessaries that users didn’t accept it and your website feedback is so poor.

  4. Facebook Developer says:

    May 18th, 2011 at 8:20 am

    How is it possible because there is option to make it abuse and report to support team!!

  5. iPhone Application Developer says:

    July 25th, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Mostly companies prefer facebook for promoting her product and services.It is very effective for companies to show product online via Facebook tool.

  6. garment sales worldwide says:

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

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