You know how sometimes you can’t quite look away when there has just been a horrible car crash shown on a televised race?
Well, Amy’s Baking Company out of Scottsdale, Arizona just tried their best to replicate said car crash. Only instead of car #1 and car #2, it was their brand and reputation, and instead of a televised race it was nearly every social media outlet you can think of.
The story started with a 1 star Yelp review from someone who had dined at Amy’s Baking Company, whereupon Amy herself thought it wise to log on and respond directly to the review and accuse him of working for a competitor and degrade him personally by calling him a loser and misspelling a few words while she was at it. (Don’t you know bad grammar is like writing your own death warrant online?)
The hole gets even bigger when Amy’s Baking Company’s website and Facebook page continues the trend of personal attacks on the “internet haters”. Eventually, mega popular internet community, Reddit picks up on this insanity and you can almost see the social media crosshairs begin forming over Amy’s Baking Company.
(Edit: moderators have since removed most of the comments on the original thread, but here’s a new link to former Amy’s Baking Company food runner, Katy Cipriano’s “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit as a consolation.) As of the timing of this post, Amy’s Baking Company’s rating on Yelp has dropped to a dismal one and a half stars – and this is WITH several sarcastic five star reviews. Just when you think they’ve reached the bottom of the pit they’ve dug, here’s their latest Facebook post:
Well, at least they’re not on television.
Wrong. Wrong. Here they are on television:
I’ve taken the opportunity to summarize a 3 step “ABC” primer on how to conduct your very own social media seppuku in scorched earth fashion, just like Amy’s Baking Company:
A is for: Acting like you’re better and holier than the people you’re serving not only in person, but online as LOUDLY, insultingly, and with as much swearing as possible.
B is for: Bloody hell, film an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay and be so awful that you make him literally walk out on you.
C is for: Craziness. Just a flat-out bottomless barrel of crazy in all its forms.
If Uncle Ben knew about Yelp and Reddit when he was talking to Peter Parker on that fateful day, he’d have definitely acknowledged the kind of great power and great responsibility of using social media in this era to act as a serious momentum starter for change and action. (…you just don’t expect the Green Goblin to bend over and repeatedly set himself up for his own ass whooping.)
Amy’s Baking Company appears to have created a textbook case study on how not to use social media to carry out your PR campaign. (Can anyone else see this being taught in college intro to communications courses for years to come?) Or maybe this is more like a case study for how one can try to get a reality show because I know I couldn’t look away, no matter how agonizingly cringe-worthy it got.