How to Handle Social Media Responses From the Rockefeller Tree

The holidays are on their way, and it’s time to break out the Christmas tree and deck the halls. Plenty of people find joy in the holiday music and decorations, despite the current worldwide crisis. Instead of focusing on the thousands of news stories covering the pandemic, people have started to focus on some more positive stories or things that interest them outside the current conditions.

And that’s precisely when the Rockefeller Christmas tree landed in the news cycle, upon its arrival at Rockefeller Center. The commercial complex’s social media accounts announced in the middle of November that the tree, after traveling for two days, finally arrived and was ready to set up. However, plenty of people quickly noticed the tree’s pitiful shape from the picture shared on Twitter.

Many people wasted no time sharing their concerns and even said the tree was a perfect representation of how the year was going – even the Christmas tree seemed to be having a bad year.

This made it a challenge for the Christmas tree brand, as all the negative reactions can easily snowball into something bigger on social media platforms. It’s not easy for brands to overcome negativity on social media and come out the other side relatively unharmed.

However, Finn Partners’ social media director Justin Buchbinder saw the tree’s state as any other freshly-opened package from delivery and stated that the Rockefeller Center had a great opportunity to lean into the comments and be completely transparent with the public while inserting some more humor or factual information into the entire situation.

Buchbinder stated that the entire situation was an example of the power that social media has and the public’s lack of context and patience. When a tree is first unfurled, it always looks forlorn. Still, with a little time, it’s going to look a lot better, as it’s going to unfurl over the next few days. Ultimately, the Rockefeller Center embraced the entire situation and did exactly what Buchbinder recommended, that is, being transparent, adding more information, and leaning into all the negative comments.

Something similar happened with the new Xbox system that was released this month as well, where someone shared a fake video on social media where the system appeared to be smoking. There was a frenzy of social media posts, specifically on Twitter, with people worrying about their newly-bought gaming system and the possible issues with it, and their safety. However, as we mentioned, the video was fake, as it was simply someone blowing smoke into it and then filming it.

That’s when Xbox leaned into the situation with a comedic response about people blowing vape smoke into their systems and advising them against it. This shows that sometimes, leaning into the negativity might bring about a lot more positives for a brand, especially when transparency and factual information are involved, with a decent dose of good humor.

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