Lowe’s announced on its Facebook Page that it will be pulling its ads from the TLC show “All-American Muslim”. They announced this decision via a note, which has since been deleted. Over 23,000 comments were posted on the note many of which were back-and-forth banter between pro and anti Muslim supporters. Here is a slice of the action via Mashable:
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When using the Community Strategy with social media there is one golden rule: Never alienate individuals. Secondly, have a set of guidelines, publicly posted so that you can enforce them. The guidelines should include a policy of racial remarks, political commentary, sexism and religion. Essentially outline the same rules of a first date.
So where did Lowe’s go wrong? For one, they posted it on Facebook! That decision did not need to be shared inside the community. That was a business decision and certainly a tough one. It should have been posted in a blog or on the official website. If the community decided to pick it up and discuss it, then, and only then, should the brand feel it is accountable to answer. Secondly, as soon as racist remarks were being posted someone on the Lowe’s social media team should have been deleting them and reminding the community of the guidelines. These are the simple tactics that could kept the negative energy at a manageable simmer instead of the heaping boil-over it became.
Better late than never, Lowe’s did put out this post explaining their stance on the recent comments. Good for them! They’ve redeemed themselves.
It important allow your community to have a voice, but it is unacceptable to stand on the wayside while a turf war is brewing in your community. And lets be a little more tactful about where we post business decision…