The internet is rife with social media entrepreneurs such as bloggers who turn celebrities quickly after building a strong following.
In the digital world where the speed of information dissemination can be quite rapid, a marketer must be aware that news - positive and negative alike can spread like wildfire.
23-year-old Australian social media entrepreneur and blogger Belle Gibson who released The Whole Pantry app is facing allegations of fabrications over her alleged battle with brain cancer as well as pocketing of charity funds.
The influential blogger who has achieved over 10,000 downloads of her healthy and natural-eating inspired cookbook app on Google Play store alone, focuses on health and well being marketing had recently released a book in Australia and was looking at releasing her recipe book in US/ UK.
To date, publishers such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House have all halted the printing of The Whole Pantry cookbook amid the controversy.
23-year-old Belle Gibson who lied about her age (she stated she was 26 but Sydney Morning Herald discovered she was 23) has since removed all her online posts detailing her medical history such as further cancer diagnoses, seizures and a stroke.
The big question here is how should a brand hiring a blogger or influencer react to such a communication crisis?
1) Acknowledge the facts
The simple yet overlooked solution to prevent further miscommunication and damage to brand reputation would be to start coming forward, clean and acknowledging facts that are circulating around the internet.
2) Set the records straight
After acknowledging the facts, make sure to clear up any rumours or misleading information that may still be circulating around social media channels due to the lack of information to put clarity to the crisis at large in the first place.
3) Avoid deleting posts and comments on Social Media channels
Belle Gibson and her public relations/ social media strategy team took the wrong step by deleting all previous posts on The Whole Pantry website, taking down their Facebook page and even clearing all photos on her Instagram account.
By taking such a drastic measure, it shows that Belle Gibson has something to hide and is deliberately trying to withhold information that is easily retrievable when the social media hosting companies are contacted especially for such a case leaning dangerously towards a criminal in nature position.
For more on social media management strategy on how to prevent a social communication disaster or respond to negative feedback on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, contact us for a complimentary discussion today.