Nikon’s Less Than Cunning Facebook Comment Provokes Friend Wrath

Nikon’s Facebook administrator, or one of them, had a bad day yesterday. They post this:

Comment from Nikon's Facebook page

Which resulted in comments like this:

Comments on Nikon's Facebook page

And more of this…

Comments on NIkons facebook page

Ouch. That’s gotta sting – definitely not thinking of their target group there. Not only did this post catch fire, but it also made its way quickly around the web. Not a great PR day.

A little while later they post an apology:

Comments on Nikons Facebook page

Which resulted in a whole bunch of new posts; some like this:

Comments on Nikon's facebook page

Poor choice of words? Over reaction?
Yes, both. They are talking to a community of artists – this comment was going to inflame them, and rightly so – technology is the tool. We get that Nikon sell equipment – ramming that message down our throat was clumsy. Equally, the comment got liked by a whole bunch of people (though that does not necessarily mean they agree with the sentiment). Further, it’s not uncommon to see a controversial post explode into a feeding frenzy like sharks in a swimming pool – the smallest sniff of blood can attract a lot of hate. It probably reinforced a negative view of the brand which some people already held, their marketing  team are probably looking with their interest at their unlike metric (though that won’t tell the whole story, by any stretch).

Not answering comments
There was a bit of a miss that, as far as I can see, there was no answer from Nikon to any of the comments which appeared on the original post. Yes – it would have taken a ton of work but if they’d got active on the resulting comments, explaining that it was a mistake on the thread itself it probably would have demonstrated sorrow far better than their apology some 12 hours later. Here’s an example of the kind of micro-moderation this requires – this is the band Morbid Angel dealing with their fan’s ire.

Fire the administrator?
A few posts suggest firing the administrator. Like this:

Comments on Nikon's Facebook page

Really? I’ve got no idea how Nikon functions with hiring and firing, but I think that firing the administrator would be a bad idea. Social media’s joy and power is the immediacy of response – which allows us to both inspire people, but also piss them off, very quickly. This post was not their finest hour, but firing the admin would be an over-reaction. Nikon – learn from what happened here and figure out if there was a better way to apologize. Incidentally, ‘apologize’ is corporate speak – you should be ‘sorry’.

What do you think – could they have managed this in a better way?


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