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7 Examples of Social Media Crisis: What Can We Learn?

Jenny Wolfram
Aug 30, 2016 3:29:40 AM

No matter how long you’ve been working in social media without issue, the day may arrive when something goes wrong. One of the ways to prepare for a crisis is to know what other brands have done to overcome such situations. 

Here are 7 brands that turned their crisis into a successful rebound.



When Buffer was hacked, they sent out an email to their customers before they could even notice. They made sure to get ahead of the story, showed they were taking it seriously, kept their customers up to date, and upgraded security measures to prevent it from happening again.


After WholeFoods found themselves in an overcharging scandal which flooded their social media accounts with negative criticism and even brought on a lawsuit, they took to social media to post a video where they fully admitted to their mistakes, owned up to it, and told customers what they were doing to fix it.

Southwest airlines

When a plane from the airline landed nose first at LaGuardia causing patrons injury, they took to social media to quickly update customers on the situation, allowing them to control the story before other news outlets put a negative spin on it.


When Chipotle faced an E.coli crisis last fall, they quickly dealt with the social media backlash by releasing a statement letting patrons know they were temporarily shutting down 43 restaurants. They kept customers up to date on everything that was being done to get the situation under control. Founder Steve Ells even took to The Today Show and bought full-page newspaper ads, to apologize directly to customers who suffered from the crisis.


When the brand was accused on Facebook of using a photographer’s photo in one of their retail stores without permission or providing compensation, DKNY quickly responded to their mistake with an apology, and a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA - the charity the photographer requested they support instead of compensating him.


When Tesco was accused of having horsemeat in their beef burgers, they immediately apologized and withdrew sale of the product from all retailers, also allowing anyone who had purchased it to receive a refund. They promised to investigate the matter and inform customers once they knew how the error had occurred.


An employee at Kitchenaid accidentally posted a tweet insulting President Obama on the company account instead of her personal account, and instead of just deleting the tweet and hoping for the best, they proactively took to Twitter to apologize for the insensitive comment. They also responded swiftly to press questions about the crisis, rather than hoping the situation would just go away.

These 7 examples show that while sometimes, social media crises are inevitable, dealing with them in a smart way is the key to retaining customer loyalty. It is always better to own up to a mistake and apologize, than to try to hide it.

Learn how BrandBastion can help prevent social media crises from escalating. Get in touch for a free analysis or a demo. 


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