Martha's School Dinners Blog: Why we cannot ignore social media

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Rachael Simpson, Marketing Support Analyst at Usomo considers how the story of one girl and her school lunch can impact small businesses:

On Thursday, Argyll and Bute Council decided to censor the blog of a young girl named Martha, who at every lunchtime uploaded a photograph of her school dinner.

Citing that the Blog has "left catering staff fearing for their jobs", the council announced that Martha would no longer be permitted to take photos of her lunch, and share them with the world. The idea that censorship can eliminate a problem however shows that Argyll and Bute Council do not understand the power of social media. The topic has been trending for much of the day, as more and more people either vent their frustration directly at the council, or donate to Martha's cause. The danger is often that trying to quiet negative comments in the social media can very often have an opposite effect.

By Friday afternoon, after pressue from various social media outlets, the decision was taken by the council to reverse the ban, though many suspect that the damage is already done. Not only has the decision to 'ban' the blog resulted in much negativity towards the council, it has also served to highlight the blog, ensuring that it has gained many more followers. 

So what can we learn from today?

Are you trying to quiet or censor the negative aspects of your social media? Are you embracing social media for all it can offer?

When a 'customer' complains, recognise this as a great opportunity to promote your business by putting it right.

Have you used a customer complaint via the social media as a way to positively promote your business? I'd love to hear from you, please comment below


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