Social Media Brand Reputation: A Case of Erisco, Chioma Okoli and Gino Nigeria

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social media brand reputation and how it can help to handle negative reviews: a case of erisco foods, chioma okoli, and gino

In recent weeks, social media has been ablaze with discussions surrounding a negative product review of Erisco Foods tomato paste by Nigerian consumer Chioma Okoli. Despite court orders, her recent arrest and detainment have ignited a firestorm of controversy, placing the brand’s reputation squarely under the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny. The public outcry against Erisco’s actions has been swift and fierce, with protests demanding Chioma Okoli’s release and calls for boycotts of Erisco products trending online.

In a surprising twist, another tomato paste brand, Gino Nigeria, has emerged as a counterpoint in this narrative. A recent negative review of their product was met with a markedly different response – polite, solution-oriented, and focused on customer satisfaction. This stark contrast highlights the immense power social media holds for shaping brand reputation and demonstrates how a company’s response to criticism can either amplify negativity or transform it into an opportunity.

The Impact of Social Media on Brand Reputation

Social media has democratized the conversation around brands. No longer can companies solely control their narrative through traditional advertising or press releases. Consumers now have a powerful platform to share their experiences, both good and bad, with a vast global audience. This shift in power dynamics means that attempts to silence or suppress negative feedback often backfire spectacularly, resulting in a phenomenon known as the Streisand Effect.

Erisco’s decision to pursue legal action against Chioma Okoli exemplifies this danger. Their attempt to silence a single negative review has inadvertently amplified it, drawing far greater attention to the issue than it might have received otherwise. The public perception of Erisco has become entangled with the issue of consumer rights and freedom of expression, fueling boycotts and widespread condemnation on social media. What began as a product quality complaint has transformed into a public relations crisis for Erisco, severely damaging its brand reputation. 

Gino Nigeria: A Masterclass in Social Media Brand Reputation

gino nigeria

In contrast to Erisco’s actions, Gino Nigeria’s handling of a similar negative product review offers a valuable lesson in effective social media reputation management. Upon receiving criticism, their response was characterised by the following:

  • Empathetic Response: Gino acknowledged the customer’s concern and expressed a genuine desire to understand and resolve the issue. This demonstrated their focus on customer satisfaction rather than deflecting blame.
  • Commitment to Resolution: Going above and beyond, Gino replaced the entire carton of tomato paste rather than just the potentially affected products. They even took the initiative to reach out to the customer via DM for further resolution when the customer was unable to initiate contact. This signalled their willingness to prioritize customer experience even if it meant a short-term financial loss and extra effort on their part.
  • The Positive Outcome: Gino’s proactive and customer-centric approach has been widely praised on social media. Their actions have positioned them as a company that values its customers, likely cultivating brand loyalty and attracting new consumers drawn to their commitment to positive customer experiences.

Lessons for Businesses in the Social Media Age

The contrasting cases of Erisco Foods and Gino Nigeria offer several essential lessons for businesses navigating the complexities of social media brand reputation.

  • Embrace Transparency: Attempts to suppress or hide negative reviews through threats or legal action can erode consumer trust irreparably. A commitment to transparency, even when faced with criticism, builds a foundation for a more resilient brand reputation.
  • Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on the negativity, proactively offer solutions and demonstrate a genuine desire to resolve customer issues. This shifts the narrative from complaint to customer satisfaction, potentially transforming critics into brand advocates.
  • The Power of Empathy: Respond to criticism with professionalism and a willingness to understand the customer’s perspective. Empathy disarms hostility and demonstrates that your company prioritises positive customer experiences.
  • Negative Reviews are Opportunities While no business wants negative reviews, responding constructively can be a chance to showcase your commitment to customer service and publicly demonstrate your brand values.
  • Partner with the Experts: Social media management agencies specialize in reputation management and crisis communications.  They can help you develop a proactive social media strategy, monitor sentiment, and craft responses that align with your brand voice while effectively de-escalating tense situations.


The ongoing social media firestorm surrounding Erisco and Chioma Okoli underscores social media’s immense power for shaping brand reputation. Companies that prioritize transparency, customer-centric solutions, and empathy in their responses ultimately fare better in this consumer-driven landscape. While Gino Nigeria’s positive outcome is heartening, Erisco’s situation, still unfolding, serves as a cautionary tale about the long-term consequences of suppressing negative feedback.

In today’s digital age, a robust social media reputation management strategy is no longer optional – it’s essential for business survival. GrowTally can help you navigate these complexities, protecting your brand’s reputation, and transforming online interactions into opportunities for growth.

Managing social media accounts for your business can be highly demanding. We have hundreds of experts to help you manage your social accounts

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