Schivas Rock: A story of… wait what?!
It’s not often something like this happens on social media, even more rare is the fact it happened in South Africa, not quite a nation known for Social Media fuck ups! But today, myself and many colleagues in the social media and online industry and eventually the public at large were graced with one of the biggest social media meltdowns we’ve seen all year!
How Did It Start:
At roughly 12:00pm CAT, Event and party venue Schivas Rock published a statement that was apparently in response to largely negative public outcry about an event hosted at the venue that was cancelled, allegedly mid performance, which seems to have been the event: “The night before, The Day to Remember”, though we can’t confirm this, our sources are keeping quiet for now.
The few online comments and media sources we could grab together that weren’t troll comments painted the story, which mention police being called into the venue, overly loud music, a young child being caught in the middle of this mess somehow and comments of near riots within the venue. Again, none of which can be confirmed right now, we’re all still piecing that part together.
What is clear is that both community manager and business owner has ruined their brand name online in such spectacular fashion, that the Facebook community has taken it upon themselves to even develop their own memes to mark the occasion:
The Facebook statement was as follows:
How Not To Run a Social Media Account:
What followed was a manic mix of abusive commentary by the current account manager (Andre), a light hearted series of loaded quips by a Facebook troll (Justin), and lots and lots of laughing emojis on the part of the Facebook community. In a lot of ways, it’s almost like watching someone walk into a glass door, you know it’s wrong to laugh, because it’s quite serious, but then they do it a second time because they may be on drugs.
Andre vs Justin:
The best we can tell: Andre’ is the “owner” of Schivas Rock and de-facto owner of the account; Schivas Rock on Facebook. On the other end of the ring, we have Justin, who seemed at first to be the original social media manager of the account but who turned out to be a troll who has set up his own Schivas Rock account with the sole and hilarious purpose of confusing and upsetting Andre. (Note: Justin is not in Caps):
Why You Need a Professional:
I’ve always insisted that either a professional community manager, or a well trained internal brand advocate manage social media accounts. They have insight into the brand and company ethos and tout the company through thick and thin, without ever compromising the brand message or promise. After all, they’re brand custodians, they speak for the brand and always place it in the best light.
Though in the case of Schivas Rock, it would seem that ever passionate Andre took it upon himself to respond to comments on the original statement, and large volume of visitor posts, and in quite a colourful way too. He may have even managed to insult a band that seems to not have even played at the venue, The Slashdogs:
Sadly, it didn’t stop there, as Andre’ seems to have let his weaker nature get the better of him, and proceeded to follow this “delightful” response trend toward a large majority of commentators throughout the first three hours of the statement’s release.
Most of the time, ever present “Justin” seemed to have been waiting for an opportunity to strike. (Justin’s comment has since been deleted)
The Slashdogs Strike Back:
Finally, The Slashdogs, were prompted to comment, and in the fashion of this utter public relations lucid nightmare, did so in the best way they could, in a video:
Why Schivas Rock Is Important:
Schivas Rock is definitely the archetypal representation of what not to do on social media, and more so, why it is equally important to hire and trust in a professional social media or communications team to handle both press, online communications and social media management, if you indeed feel it to be a weakness.
The Facebook statement at 7:45PM 07 November 2016, has accumulated, 91 shares, 241 comments and 117 reactions. Who knows the reach something like this received. All that negative press with Andre’s commentary just kept the thunder rolling.
More though, it’s a firm reminder that while as a society and an industry we agree that social media is something anyone can be taught, and the skills to manage a business or brand account enhanced through training and experience.
What can’t be taught is the ability to have a civil conversation with other people and reach an understanding with an online audience in a way that puts personal bias, preference and opinion aside for the betterment and stability of the brand as a whole, and doesn’t place that brand’s name into the mud.
I fear though, that with the ease of: “Doing Social”, similar meltdowns may be more frequent. Though, equally, I have hope that due to the massive amount of information available to clients and small social media firms online, events like Schivas Rock can be avoided, and if anything, owners can understand the correct and “human” way of communicating and working with users online.