Meat me in the middle

31 July 2019 | Liz Bowen
The minefield that is social media is a tricky one to navigate, isn’t it? Despite the fact that Facebook, Insta, Twitter et al are the fastest, continuously evolving marketing tools in the world, some people just don’t learn, do they?

We’re all about the personal touch when it comes to social media here at Pic and our social team works hard to get to know our clients, what makes your business tick and matching your tone of voice.

Of course, there are people doing their own social media every second of every day all over the world but sometimes, it’s good to step back and really think about whether what you might want to say personally really works on a business level too.

Such was the case for bosses of The George Pub and Grill in Stockton-on-Tees this weekend when they cooked up a social media storm in a promotional post for a steak dinner.

The post, which was uploaded to Facebook, featured a photo of an albeit, rather delicious looking steak (if you like yours rare - if not, probably not for you…) with the caption “would you punch your ex in the face for a steak?”

Now, I’m sure the message they were trying to get across was the fact that the steak looked so good, people would do ‘anything’ to get their chops around one (no pun intended), but let’s be honest, inciting violence is never a good idea. Ever.

Understandably, the post has attracted criticism from followers and domestic violence campaigners alike, receiving over 1,300 replies.

People highlighted the fact that those who have suffered domestic violence “have been punched for less”, while others said local businesses should be thought of as “role models” within the community.

Yet despite the comments, it appears old habits die hard as the business previously used the same ‘slogan’ in another ad, which attracted the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority.

How does the saying go? ‘Fool me one, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ Now, I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where an idea hasn’t worked first time so we’ve tried it again, just in case, but coming under fire from an official body would usually be enough to put the kibosh on it.

But not for the owners of The George Pub and Grill, who not only posted it again but then went on to shamelessly defend it and joke about the situation to those who complained. They’ve even shared the Daily Mail article complimenting those commenting on the story for “talking sense” and seeing the “light hearted humour” in it.

Ultimately, personality is key and if you’re a local business, you are very literally the face behind your brand. We all want to get noticed and post with pizzazz to get people talking.

Controversy, however, is never a good idea and very rarely does it pay off, especially when there are so many stories regularly featured in the media about people who have suffered domestic violence, sometimes with tragic consequences.

It pays therefore to take a step back and really think about what you’re posting and how people may react to it. They say it’s better to be talked about than not at all, but that doesn’t always mean the conversation’s a good one and the PR that follows is usually tinged with negativity too.

While you may think ‘oh it’s just a few people’, on a platform like social media, news travels faster than word of mouth. If something can be written, people will inevitably start thinking about the comments that could be made in person, probably causing them to twice about paying a visit.

Want some advice about how to manage your social media channels without causing an unnecessary uproar? Then why not get in touch?