Smirnoff Vodka Gets Wasted on Wild Facebook Comments

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Starting a great conversation in the comments section is only half the job for amazing Facebook management. Once those comments are in place and the words are flying, it’s the Facebook marketing expert’s job to keep things clean, civil and on track. Smirnoff vodka is learning this lesson the hard way.

Like many parties where Smirnoff is the star, the fiesta on the company’s Facebook page got way out of hand. Facebook users in Australia complained that the comments on posts created by Smirnoff featured racists, sexist and violent subject matter. So out of control were the comments that Australia’s Advertising Standards Board was brought in to make sense of the mess. On Monday, the Advertising Standards Board ruled that “posts on Smirnoff’s Facebook page are effectively advertising, regardless of whether they were made by the company or a member of the public, and should therefore comply with advertising laws,” according to The Telegraph. Marketers “Down Under” are enraged and claim the ruling could be the final nail in the coffin for brands advertising on Facebook.

Relax, our Aussie friends. We think the board made the right call. Post-and-bolt is no way to run a Facebook campaign. Follow-up is essential — not only to make sure things aren’t out of control but to help start slow conversations and engage followers. You have to assume that everything posted on your brand’s page will be associated with your company. Is that fair? Probably not, but in a world where judgments are made in a split second, it’s a fact. Part of a great social media marketer’s job is to ensure that all content is on the up and up. This isn’t just limited to crazy comments but to spam, questions about a brand posted on a company’s Wall and images where the products have been tagged.

But let’s hear from the readers (that’s you, btw). Is Facebook more of a free market or more like a police state for marketers? Sound off below!

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