It’s not always easy for those new to communications to embrace social media. Many see more pitfalls than advantages – at least at first.
Communicating out of fear, though, leads to its own issues. Case in point: an (adorable-looking) hotel in Hudson, New York, which has apparently taken a rather aggressive stance out of fear of bad reviews: fining those they deem responsible. As the Mashable article explains, they’ve included a clause in event contracts that they’ll fine wedding parties $500 for every negative review a guest posts about the venue.
A quick glance at their Facebook and Yelp pages shows it didn’t take long for this one to backfire – something anyone in our industry could have predicted. It makes for an amusing story and a lesson on what not to do – but it also marks a missed opportunity.
As the article explains, the owners seemed concerned that guests expecting a corporate hotel might be disappointed by their more quaint accommodations. It was a prime opportunity to make their unique approach a point of differentiation in the market and build a brand around that.
Instead, they’ve made themselves look like bullies who don’t trust their customers and incited a virtual firestorm. Though they’ve removed the clause from their website, their clumsy Facebook post (since removed!) claiming that the policy wasn’t real, but rather a tongue-in-cheek joke, has only fueled the controversy – and so far, no one’s laughing.