The social media marketing world recently raised its virtual glass to Maker’s Mark.

 

When the whisky maker’s plan to reduce the alcohol content of their bourbon became public knowledge, an online outcry of their loyal fans ensued.  The response of Maker’s Mark aficionados, seen on Facebook, Twitter, and numerous blogs, had the potential to turn into a major marketing debacle.  With such prominent influencers as Time Magazine, Forbes.com, and Huffington Post reporting on the situation, an onslaught of negative publicity seemed likely for Maker’s Mark.

 

However, rather than resigning themselves to riding out the impending flood, the leaders of Maker’s Mark turned the tide. They embraced the same social platforms, which were delivering the harsh criticism, and used them to deliver an apology to the loyal fans of Maker’s Mark.  Along with the apology, the company used Facebook to deliver their decision to reverse their original plan and keep producing their bourbon as they always have.

 

Maker’s Mark’s fans have engaged with the company’s response enthusiastically.  As of this posting, the Facebook apology has been “Liked” by more than 27,000 people and shared by more than 8,000.  In addition, a large majority of the post’s 4,000+ comments express gratitude to Maker’s Mark for listening to their customers.

 

In an era of large, vocal fan bases regularly using social media platforms, a small mishap can quickly explode and cause unimagined damage to a brand.  However, the example of Maker’s Mark shows that these same social media tools can be used to regain the trust of disappointed fan bases in a sincere manner.

 

What success have you had in turning an upset customer into a satisfied customer with social media?  Share your experience in a comment below.