When two Domino’s employees posted an online video this week showing them tampering with food in particularly disgusting ways (and no, I’m not going to link to it – I believe it has been taken down anyway), a company spokesman said they knew people on Twitter were wondering what the company was doing about it.
“We got blindsided by two idiots with a video camera and an awful idea,” said Tim McIntyre, a Domino’s spokesman.
“Even people who’ve been with us as loyal customers for 10, 15, 20 years, people are second-guessing their relationship with Domino’s, and that’s not fair.”
According to McIntyre, “Well, we were doing and saying things, but they weren’t being covered in Twitter.”
Apparently McIntyre didn’t understand how Twitter works. It doesn’t “cover” things. It is, of course, an online community where anyone can post anything and respond to anything – including companies.
McIntyre was told about the existence of the online video on Monday. The video had been viewed more than a million times by Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday afternoon, Domino’s set up a Twitter account. By Wednesday evening, Domino’s chief executive appeared in a YouTube video.
McIntyre said, “It elevated to a point where just responding isn’t good enough.”
I think McIntyre missed the point. Domino’s was responding early on, but not on YouTube, the site where the video was seen, and not on Twitter, the site where people were asking questions. Granted, two days to produce and post a video is not bad. But the ability to monitor their brand on Twitter and to respond immediately to critics existed before this crisis. If Domino’s had already been on Twitter, they would have gained a couple of extra days of damage control.
I admit I was a Twitter skeptic. I still personally prefer Facebook to comment on people’s posts and to follow threads. I like having the comments listed together as they are on Facebook.
But for companies to get out information on their brands, Twitter is great. The short comments are an ideal venue for people to speak out and for companies to follow the comments.
I’m sure brands who haven’t taken to Twitter yet will be thinking twice now about getting a Twitter account. And for those looking for work, how does “Social Media Specialist” sound?
Footnote: And oh, yeah, as for the two lame-os who thought it was “funny” to cause a PR nightmare for a company in this already beaten-up economy: welcome to the unemployment line.