When I teach social media I remind clients:
- Think before you tweet.
- A negative post will have ramifications.
- One tweet can make you or break you.
- Never get into a war of words. Someone will always lose.
Now let’s talk about Yelp, the company that lets people give their opinions on everything from bars to restaurants.
A former employee, Jaymee Senigaglia criticized Yelp because she said the company fired her after she asked for a 3-day unpaid leave to care for her boyfriend who was recovering from a serious biking accident. In her blog “Yelp Fired A Single Mother Today: Me” Senigaglia talked about the challenges she faced at Yelp as a single mother.
Yelp prides itself on posting the opinions of people who have visited spas and coffee shops. But the company didn’t care much for Senigaglia’s opinion on her blog that went viral. Yelp fought back with a tweet that definitely broke (in my opinion) many Human Resource rules and can probably get them in legal problems.
OK we don’t know all the details on why Yelp terminated Senigaglia. I would think they can’t talk about it because its a Human Resource issue. But what was Yelp thinking when it posted the tweet giving many details of Senigaglia’s work record at the company?
I am shocked this tweet was approved by HR. I am hoping someone on Yelp’s social media team tried to stop the madness and went up the food chain and said “Hey CEO Jeremy Stoppelman do you really want us to post this? It’s very unprofessional. We need to take the high road.”
A BUSINESS HAS MORE TO LOSE WHEN IT GETS NASTY ON TWITTER
People on Twitter are not the type to sit back and take it or watch someone like a single mother out of a job get trampled. Yelp hurt its image and business when it decided to get even with Senigaglia. Here are only a few of the tweets in response.
ONE VIDEO STATEMENT CAN MAKE THIS RIGHT
If I was on Yelp’s media relations team I would have the CEO address this issue in a short video right away. It’s never too late to apologize to Senigaglia. I’m not saying apologize for firing her, but apologize for putting her private business out in the Twitter world. That tweet could hurt her future job prospects which means future earnings, and you know this single mom needs a paycheck to raise her child.
Something is going on at Yelp, because this is the second employee who has made her misery public about working at the company. In mid-February, Talia Jane another Yelp employee also harshly criticized the company in her blog “An Open Letter to My CEO.” That blog went viral too and within hours Yelp fired Talia Jane.
Yelp has chosen not to respond to those who have criticized the company on Twitter. A big no-no in social media. That’s like saying “We’re not listening and we don’t care.” But Yelp should care because each person on Twitter has followers they can influence. And if they are encouraged not to support Yelp those numbers add up. Today no company can afford to lose business.
Here’s hoping Yelp makes this right.