20.08.2014 Greggs shows us how to handle a crisis on social media

Yesterday, something terrible happened to Greggs bakery. An unexplained mishap caused Google to display a hoax logo on the right-hand side of any Google search, depicting them in what we can only describe as a less than favourable light.

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This could have been a PR disaster for Greggs bakery, as word spread like wildfire and screenshots were taken with many people tweeting @Greggsthebakers informing them of the mishap.


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In a display of social media genius, which gets a gold star from us, Greggs managed to turn the situation around. The clever wags behind the social feed entered into a witty exchange with the both the general public and the Google social media team, offering baked goods in return for a quick remedy to their problem. It worked, as the image was soon restored to its previous, inoffensive state.


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They were undoubtedly incredibly grateful for this quick fix, but couldn’t resist throwing in a final, cheeky stroke of genius.

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We have blogged before on how social media is a crisis can go very wrong (see the case of Arriva Trains Wales’ exchange with the First Minister Carwyn Jones), but we have to backslap Greggs for the way they handled this potential crisis with a calm approach, infused with a cheeky humour that turned what could have been a big fail into a major win for the brand.

Of course, a nod also goes to Google for their equally witty responses and willingness to engage with Greggs.

Social media can make or break a brand’s reputation in a matter of seconds. Of course, almost anything can be remedied, but it is always much easier to think before you post. We know that the Greggs social team will have had a busy, stressful day yesterday but they’re clearly a team who know their brand voice and were quick to think, and then act.

Give that team some donuts…and a big slice of social love from Team Cake!