Recently, Starbucks customers took to social networks to express their “outrage” over the design of disposable coffee cups offered by Starbucks. Some took the simple color choice as a religious or cultural statement, leading to lots of back-and-forth between the company and some very opinionated groups.
While we’re not going to weigh in on the merits of a red paper cup, there is a lesson that marketers can learn here: it’s easy to ruffle feathers online, even when you’re not trying. Sometimes you can’t stay out of trouble even when you’re trying to.
Knowing that, it’s important to not only consider how others are going to view your communications, but to respond appropriately when your content or ideas aren’t received in the right way. While it can be tempting to rant and rave – especially when you’re a small business owner trying to add a personal touch – but doing so hardly ever helps you to grow your brand or business.
By next week, the Internet will have moved on to another topic of debate. And when it does, remember that you can learn a lot from the way companies interact and respond with their followers on social media.