In terms of its social media presence, Domino’s Pizza gets a lot of things right. It has a YouTube Channel, a Twitter account, and both a Facebook and MySpace profile. What Domino’s could not plan for, however, was that two of its employees at a North Carolina franchise would use YouTube to broadcast a rather disgusting video that would severely damage the company’s brand. Since the video first appeared, Domino’s has quickly stepped up its social media presence in order to regain some positive momentum.
The video, which, among other things, features an employee who farts and sneezes on a sandwich, was viewed over 500,000 times. For now, the video has disappeared from YouTube, but you can still see a full version of the employees’ exploits here.
Thanks to Trendrr for providing us with these graphs.
Fighting Back on YouTube and Twitter
In response to this uproar, Domino’s decided to release its own video on YouTube, which features Domino’s president Patrick Doyle. Of course, Doyle’s video, which refers to the story as a ‘hoax,’ will not be able to draw half a million viewers, but Domino’s Pizza is doing the right thing by going to YouTube, where, after all, the whole affair began.
The video, however, is not as effective as it could have been, as Doyle is clearly reading from a script and barely looks into the camera.
Domino’s is also actively using the company’s official Twitter account to reach out to customers who are talking about the company.
Solution: Ban Video Cameras in Stores?
Bruce Horovitz, in USA Today, describes some of the lessons that other companies can learn from from this controversy. Among other things, he recommends that companies actively monitor Twitter and other social media channels, so that companies can respond quickly when problems appear. Comcast is a good example of a company that is using Twitter to rebuild its image.
According to Horovitz, Domino’s is now also considering banning video cameras from its stores, which will probably do nothing to alleviate consumers’ concerns.
In the end, the only thing a company can do is to quickly react to these events. Doyle’s video, however, looks too scripted, and instead of banning cameras, Domino’s should welcome cameras in its stores, so that customers can see that this was an isolated incident that is not representative of behavior of the thousands of other employees Domino’s and its franchisees have.
Update: we just got some interesting data from communications research company MediaCurves, which did a quick survey of consumer reactions before and after watching Domino’s apology.
Here are the results:
“Which of the following actions are you likely to perform in the next three months?”
“Do you think the apology response video released by Domino’s USA President, Patrick Doyle, was effective in rectifying and restoring Domino’s image after this incident?”