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Handling a Digital Marketing Crisis

If a crisis happens to your brand, how will you react and recover? Will you stick your head in the sand and hope that it goes away quietly, or will you have the quick wits to turn it to your advantage? A good study on how to take control of a runaway meme is what happened at Christmas to Reese's. Every year Reese's produces holiday themed chocolates shaped like trees, but this year they looked like anything but a tree.


The production malfunction caused a huge stir on social media (the internet can be so cruel!) with Reese's fans around the world. However, Reese's response was nothing short of brilliant. Not because it was perfect, but because they did not take themselves too seriously, they addressed the issue in a humorous way, and they had fun with it. If you missed it, click HERE to see how they responded. They even had a trending hashtag promoting their response... #AllTreesAreBeautiful. That's how you handle social media.

Granted, this was not a serious crisis. Companies like Pepsi, Toyota, and Tylenol have dealt with very real situations, some involving lawsuits. These companies were able to reestablish a relationship with social media and their customers by accepting responsibility, placing customers first, being honest, and creating mechanisms to help prevent further misfortunes. In time, if handled properly, a brand will be able to bounce back from almost any digital marketing crisis. The Business Insider has an article where you can read about how different companies have recovered from what could have been a digital marketing disaster.

In a world where "if it was on the internet, it must be true" is the law of the land, having a quick wit, a good handle on your brand identity, and getting people to laugh WITH you and not AT you is a great strategy for handling a digital marketing crisis.

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