A pizza shop owner faced a major marketing and public relations crisis when someone on Facebook posted an inflammatory claim about the company.
Last week, I spoke to a pizza shop owner who we were helping gain access to an “unofficial” Facebook Page.
If you’re not in marketing, you wouldn’t know that Facebook creates “unofficial” business Pages for companies, without their knowledge. The business owner must jump through hoops to gain access to the Page, but customers can post comments and reviews—even upload photos—making it look like it’s the company’s “official” Page.
This pizza shop owner was oblivious to this Page’s existence—until someone used it to claim he was a racist.
The poster said the pizza shop refused to serve someone because they were black. Using words like “not on my watch,” he encouraged everyone to share what he’d posted.
Sadly, the man who posted this got his information third-hand, from someone claiming to have witnessed it … which turned out to be a complete fabrication. The original poster eventually met with the owner, watched the store video of the “incident” and apologized. But the damage had already been done, thank you very much.
How We Helped
This isn’t the first time I’ve warned business owners to get a Facebook page for your business—or else. Like it or not, businesses are being forced to play in the social media space, simply because people are using it.
If you find yourself in this position, there are several steps Facebook forces you to take to get control of the unofficial Page. One social media expert found a shortcut: pay Facebook.
He says that putting down some money for Facebook advertising will get an account manager assigned to your campaign. If you mention the unofficial Page, he or she will promptly take care of it for you.
If that seems a bit like blackmail, it’s probably because it is.
Fortunately, the pizza shop owner was a client of ours, so he called for help. We created an official Page and requested that Facebook merge the two. He now has an official Page with a 3.6 star review.
And, most importantly, he was able to remove the inflammatory post accusing him of racism.