The Devil in the Details
Since October of 2009, the menus of 1,500 Denny's restaurants have invited customers to join the social-media conversation at Twitter. So far, so good. But there's a serious problem: The @Dennys account listed on the menu is registered to Dennys Hsieh—a Taiwanese individual—and not the American restaurant chain.
"One would think that such an oversight in these social media times would prompt immediate action," notes Jennifer Van Grove at Mashable, "but such is not the case. Per a CNET report, the menu misprint is an error that the company hopes to correct not by reprinting menus but by convincing Twitter to hand over the 'Dennys' Twitter account."
However Denny's resolves the embarrassing episode, your company can learn several lessons from the experience:
- Fact-check all content during the proofreading process. If there's a phone number, call it; if there's a URL, type it into a browser; if there's an email address, send a test message; if there's a street address, double-check it against secondary sources.
- Grab preferred usernames and URLs as soon as new social-media venues appear. It takes little effort to ensure you're ready for any site's overnight success.
- Respond to a social-media faux pas with social-media savvy. Companies that correct errors with flair and finesse are often lauded for their pitch-perfect response. Those that don't are frequently scorned.
The Po!nt: The Denny's situation was entirely avoidable—don't let similar sloppiness sabotage your social-media strategy.
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