Just read the Business 2 Community blog by Melissa Agnes – Starbuck’s Lesson:  A Social Media Attack Can Arise When Least Expected – and it highlights a social media marketing lesson that everyone who uses social media should understand clearly:

“When it comes to communicating with your customers and fans on social media, truth, transparency and timely updates are always the best strategies to take. You have to remember that you can never please everyone, and social media attacks may arise when least expected.”

In this particular case, Starbuck’s did, in fact, play by the transparency rules that social media dictates and yet they still became the focus of a backlash. They probably could have been a little more careful positioning Argentinian-made backup products, especially to an Argentinian audience, but their intentions were good.

The even greater lesson here is not to ignore negative comments. Some companies choose to simply let negative comments dissipate on their own – and sometimes they do – but they can also fester. In direct marketing, we used to say that a “no” was at the very least a response, albeit one we weren’t hoping for. Turning negative comments into something positive simply by the way you address them can bring the kind of social media attention that brands can capitalize on.