We have seen it recently with both the Carnival Triumph situation and the receipt from an Applebees that someone took the tip off of, situations where social media was a help or a hindrance.  Jaci Russo stopped by the Afternoon Drive Home and talked about it with us.

Russo told us how social media made the difference for Carnival in bridging the gap between what the media reported and what was actually happening on the ship as passengers were stranded on it.  Russo said,

Carnival wasn't trying to shut them down from telling the story.  Carnival kept up a great attitude, all the employees were kind, caring and supportive and really wanted to make the stay as comfortable as possible for people.  But then, went out and spread the word of everything, good and bad, of what passengers experienced.  So they let it be real.

Russo also talked about the receipt.  While the original anger was turned toward the customer who wrote what they did, Applebees found out the hard way that things could quickly turn on them.  Russo said,

Applebees fired the person that posted it (the receipt).  Social media got wind of that and went to town, demanding that Applebees rehire her...They started writing status updates defending themselves.  Then they started writing comments on posts arguing with people. Then they started deleting comments other people posted.

So what do we learn from these two examples in branding our businesses everyday?  Jaci Russo put it simply.  Russo pointed out,

If you did something wrong.  Apologize.  That's grade school manners right there.  Step up and say, we're sorry this happened...Do something to make it right.

Listen to the entire conversation with Jaci Russo below: