"What Barclays has realized (a lesson learned under great duress, no doubt) is what few marketers understand about effective social media communications strategy. That is that Facebook + Twitter, et al, are not simply happy channels to post cheery news, contests and give-aways. It is a place to engage your community, in good times and bad. We wrote about this “happy channel myth” in the wake of the Costa Concordia tragedy for Carnival, the cruise ship operator. Simply put, to assume your fans are only there for the give-aways and that they do not care much for the other issues facing the brand/company (or, to assume your fan base doesn’t read the newspaper) is delusional and destructive thinking. It’s the kind of mindset that will sabotage your crisis communications messaging."