August 26, 2011 / by Jeff

Pizza Hut’s Social Media Mistake – @$#% WOW!

Pizza Hut Southern California’s Facebook Page suffered a little social media embarrassment Thursday night, thanks to one little checkbox.

EDIT: As of 8:30pm Thursday, after being up for at least 3 hours, the Question was deleted.

Facebook Questions is a growing favorite among Facebook Page Owners. According to’s Chad Whittman, “[Facebook]’s current weight hierarchy is as follows: FB Questions > Video Update > Picture Update > Link Update > Status Update.” It’s no surprise that a large brand such as Pizza Hut would use Facebook Questions on their Fan Page, but it is surprising when their Questions contain profanity.

Pizza Hut's social media mistake

Obviously, this wasn’t Pizza Hut’s doing, but this could have easily been avoided. When you add “Poll Options” (answer choices) to a Facebook Question, there is a small checkbox that appears entitled “Allow anyone to add options.” The effect is pretty straightforward–any Facebook user can freely add their own answer choices to the existing Question. No admin approval necessary and the addition is immediate.

While this particular Facebook Fan Page doesn’t have a massive following (6,800+ Likes/Fans), there can still be consequences from this sort of inattention to detail. Posts are already starting to appear on the Page that reflect customers’ unhappiness with being exposed to profanity.

This leads to Pizza Hut’s second social media mistake: not closely monitoring their assets. As of this writing, the offending Question has been up for over two hours. Most companies manage their social media during a typical work day shift, such as 8am-5pm. While this is fairly typical, there can be side effects in situations like these. Odds are, the Pizza Hut Southern California Page admins won’t be aware of this mistake until tomorrow morning. Waking up to a crisis situation is never pleasant and it’s difficult to repair a reputation when you’re not able to add to the conversation until the next business day.

Key takeaways from this situation:

  • Pay attention to all the little details. Uncheck one checkbox and this never happened. Know how different Facebook applications work and experiment on a Private “test” Page if you need to see how content will display.
  • Keep a constant eye on your online presence. If you can’t constantly monitor your social media assets, try to employ some monitoring tactics like Facebook’s built-in Page Notifications or HyperAlerts. Or just force yourself to check on your assets in the evening/on weekends.
  • When you become aware of a mistake, fix it quick. It may help to have multiple eyes on your social media assets since it’s tough for a single admin to be attentive 24/7. Make sure you can access your social media assets from home or mobile device if you need to make edits or changes outside of office hours.
Original Article By: Jon Barilone 
Posted By: Jeff Pulvino


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