Basically the suggestion is to do nothing and actually fix the problem of the spill. In fact all BP’s resources should be focused on this one problem.
In the same way not every single negative piece of social media press can be solved with social media management. You may need to throw all your energy into fixing the problem.
An example would be a public dissatisfaction with the level of service received at retail outlets of a major brand. The dissatisfied public have chosen to ‘vent’ on their favorite social media platforms and as a result their message is spreading like wildfire. A literal PR nightmare.
You can respond to every single comment and produce all kinds of interesting media into the social realm, but if the root of the problem is not fixed then the bad social media press will continue. My advice (and Harvard Business’s Advice) is to tackle the actual problem first and train your employees to deliver greater service levels to your customers.
Once the actual problem is solved, return to your Online Reputation Management and build a campaign/message around how you have dealt with the problem and how your customers can now visit the store and experience better service. This positive experience (subsequently felt by the customer) may make it onto social media and their opinion will be heard much louder than yours!
So social media might not solve the actual problem, but it was very helpful in identifying the problem and then promoting the solution back to your customers.