Social Media is maturing. Isn’t it time that social media marketers did the same?

social media fail

In this guest post, Matt Burgess argues that it’s social media marketers who are guilty of greater failings than Coles or Woolworths

Consider yourself a social media practitioner/ strategist/ consultant/ whatever? I have news for you. We’re failing. We’re failing our potential clients, we’re failing the big brands, and – ultimately – ourselves. Why? One simple four-letter-word.

Fail.

What’s got me riled up, and waxing lyrical on an industry that I’m finding more and more petty? Two weeks ago, Mumbrella happened to spot a post on Woolworths’ Facebook page which probably wasn’t rolling out the way they had planned. The “offending” post? A fairly innocuous status update that I would wager 90% of Facebook Page Admins have used in the past: a “complete this sentence” update.

#wooliesweekend "fail" post.

The #wooliesweekend "Fail" Facebook post...

Yesterday I noticed Coles being hauled over the coals (heh) for their own “Finish this sentence” faux pas. While clearly, Coles did make a bit of a boo-boo by posting the update to their Twitter account, as opposed to a moderated Facebook page, they quickly apologised for the error – to little avail.

Speaking as someone with a good amount of experience managing Facebook pages with a large amount of fans, I can tell you that the old “fill in the blank” update is a goldmine when it comes to inspiring engagement on your Facebook page. And engagement is the lifeblood of any page. Not only is it a vital part of Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, it’s also a major “social proof” since Facebook made the “Talking About This” metric publicly available on any page.

So yes, I’ve used that very same status update type. And I’ve seen some incredible interaction rates from my fans. But – as with any post you put up on Facebook – the opportunity exists for your fans to turn it around and say something negative. That’s just the nature of the beast, and anyone who actually has experience running a page themselves should know that.

And unfortunately, that’s how it started to play out for Woolies. Some of their “fans” took the update as a chance to complain about everything from stock quality, to prices, to comparing them to their main competitor, Coles. And then Mumbrella posted about the comments.

Mumbrella’s post initially was fairly light; a two-line post, with an image of the Facebook and Twitter posts in question. But then it started to gain some traction on Twitter. And that’s where any of us in the field started to lose a bit of our collective respectability.

Tweets began to fly through the #wooliesweekend hashtag, with gleeful calls of “Fail!”, “Social Media disaster!”, and various permutations of “Lols… big brands don’t get social media”.

As someone watching this unfold, I cried out into the darkness, “But how exactly is this a “fail”? Sure, it hasn’t gone the way Woolworths would have wanted, but it’s not a “fail”. It’s just a day-to-day hazard of opening yourself up to discussions. The Coles post faced the same response. (side note: I never got an answer to that question. Not one that satisfied me. The only replies I received were ones telling me to “look at the comments. It’s a total fail!”. That argument is akin to travelling to a different country, and deciding that steadily repeating things at an increasing volume means you can speak the local dialect.)

You see, I have a dirty little secret to share: if you’re using social media, you’re going to get negative comments.

That’s just the way it is.

You deal with it, and move on. You adapt your approaches. And you learn. It happens to the best of brands. Really, I think that’s where part of my frustration lies.

“Social Media Gurus” are always telling brands to “take a risk. Join the conversation. Open yourself up to criticism”. Woolies and Coles did. They took that scary step off the ledge. And people took the first opportunity to pull them down for taking that step.

The hundreds of marketing folks on Twitter, gleefully rubbing their hands together cackling “Fail… fail… fail…” simply seemed to me to be the ultimate case of making a mountain out of molehill. When you get right down to it, the comments on the Facebook post were nothing that you couldn’t see on a hundred other pages. Here is something that happens every day on Facebook, but the vultures were hungrily swooping in to claim how they would have done things better.

Only, they weren’t – 99% of the commenters on Twitter were simply jumping onto the bandwagon, without adding any constructive criticism. And that brings me to the second point of this post: we failed, you guys. We failed Woolworths and Coles, and we failed other brands considering dipping their toes into the social pond.

All we’re doing is making our own work harder by offering only criticism, but no solutions. We’re failing our potential clients when we laugh, instead of lending a hand. We’re chasing them away, instead of offering them a glass of warm milk and a cookie. So let’s cut it out, and get to work. Everyone says social media is maturing. Isn’t it time that social media marketers did the same?

Matt Burgess is a senior digital alchemist at digital agency iReckon, where an earlier version of this post first appeared.

Comments


  1. Craig
    7 Mar 12
    1:19 pm

  2. Matt,

    I’ve been telling social media marketers to lift their acts for years.

    However I also have issue with how Woolies took this approach as well. It didn’t appear to fit with their broader communications and marketing strategies and there was little active management of the conversation.

    If you want to start a conversation or engage your customers the bst approach is to actively participate, not to throw out a line and see what people do.

    A conversation can’t occur without conversing – and this is where many Australian companies, and the people advising them – keep making the same mistakes.

    Social media is not a magic slot machine, put in your message and have sales come out the other end. It is a set of positioning and engaging tools that work alongside other channels – hopefully in an integrated way – to meet your organizational objectives.

    As for chasing clients away with criticism – the criticism from the public was stronger than anything from a social media ‘expert’ (not that I have met any in this country that deserve the title). In fact one of my major criticisms has been that media and various organisations tend to treat social media users like idiots and fringe dwellers, dissing their own customers to salve their egos.

    Respect must go both ways.

  3. Brand Panda
    7 Mar 12
    2:01 pm

  4. Bravo Matt Burgess. When I initially checked the WW FB site after Mumbrella posted, I noted that a lot of the comments were from those very same ‘gleefully cackling’ marketing folk……. and in between were fairly benign comments from Mrs Average lovingly talking about catching up with the grandkids for the weekend. Wake up and smell Middle Australia adfolks!

  5. Peter Mountford
    7 Mar 12
    2:12 pm

  6. Nice article Matt.

    What I don’t understand is why Coles and Woolies bother with social media if all they are doing is acting as a conduit for people’s positive and negative thoughts about them. If they can’t influence thoughts and actions I am not sure where the return on their investment is?

    Recently the bad publicity seems to get far more press than any good publicity so why not just use facebook or twitter as a customer service channel?

  7. tribedo
    7 Mar 12
    2:20 pm

  8. Good post. Social Marketers can quite often be quickest off the mark to brand something a fail / unhip etc etc without offering a solution.

    Is it the trait of an immature industry – honking the learner driver instead of showing the courtesy and patience they require to get better?

  9. Joe Talcott
    7 Mar 12
    2:29 pm

  10. Well said Matt.
    Finding mistakes is easy. And announcing those discoveries on a social network may make us feel superior. It shouldn’t. Because finding errors is not only easy, but labelling them with the too-often ‘fail’ stamp is puerile. The difficult job is taking the risk; demonstrating some bravery. Nearly every innovation presentation says something about having the “freedom to fail”. Those who so quickly wield the ‘fail sword’ are challenging that freedom.

  11. Julie D
    7 Mar 12
    2:29 pm

  12. One of the most refreshing posts I’ve read in a long time, thanks Matt!
    IMHO all the social media ‘experts’ out there are actually doing the industry a disservice by spreading negativity about brands taking that leap into social.

  13. Annabelle
    7 Mar 12
    2:34 pm

  14. I wouldn’t say this is a fail at all. Coles and Woolies get the chance to see what people really think and can alter their customer services to match if they feel inspired to do so. Also the “Talking about” result is extremely good. Those brand names are being wheeled around with a far broader reach than just the original social network platform. The result is more publicity for the brand and more eyeballs on their pages in the future … perhaps they’re “failing” with these fill in the blank posts on purpose.

  15. pm
    7 Mar 12
    2:38 pm

  16. I agree with you Matt that fill in the blanks are a great way to generate discussion and increase engagement – and I’m also with you in the opinion that the Woolworths attempt was not a fail.
    However, Coles was. They should have considered the current sentiment of the public and the audience of twitter. Media is currently harping on about the ACCC investigation, lack of competition etc. This was not an ideal time for them to make a post such as this on twitter, where they don’t have a strong following of loyal fans.

  17. Aidan Lynch
    7 Mar 12
    2:50 pm

  18. Totally agree with what you’re saying, criticism and social networking go hand in hand, its not newsworthy. I still think statuses like that are NAF, you would want to be sure of your support base before you open yourself like that. Surely big businesses are aware that the large majority of their fans were acquired on a promo or giveaway and don’t actually LOVE their brand.

  19. Cuthbert
    7 Mar 12
    2:51 pm

  20. Who are these mythical people who want to interact with Coles or Woolworths online?
    What’s in it for them?

  21. Kate
    7 Mar 12
    3:06 pm

  22. It is a shame that people feel the need to criticise the way they do, but then I guess – these are the modern day protests and foot rallies of yesterday. But in those protests, people were happy to show their faces, there seems to be a certain ‘dutch courage’ to being nameless and faceless behind a keyboard when ramming a jaded opinion down someone’s throat. I think it is an excellent idea to seek solutions, however I still think you are going to have to wade through the quagmire of negativity in the process! No avoiding it…

  23. Annabel
    7 Mar 12
    3:06 pm

  24. Great post Matt! I totally agree!

    As a social media strategist myself, I think it is really tough to sell in a risky update/competition to a client. Obviously the pros and cons are weighed up and a decision is made to eiher progress or bench the concept.

    I think that the “fill in the blank” type questions are often disasterous and direct questions are a lot less risky. Could Woolies have asked “What are you most looking forward to doing this weekend?” or would that have been answered with “Do my grocery shop at Coles?” – its a tough gig!

  25. rob
    7 Mar 12
    3:08 pm

  26. @ Matt it’s hard to take seriously someone with “alchemist” in their title, but moving on…..

    while you make a point that the social media industry is collectively shooting itself in the foot with it’s outing of every marketing FAIL, there seems to be latent demand to bash corporates (or minor celebs like yumi stynes) via social media at every opportunity presented.

    no matter your protestations, and whether it’s your industry cronies or the general public, i see no way it will stop.

    as i’ve commented elsewhere, it seems to me that the thin skin of corporate marketers combined with their clumsy attempts to engage with real people where language, jokes and negative views proliferate, is a waste of their time and well beyond their comfort zone.

    i’m hopeful that these well-publicised bad experiences will encourage other corporate marketers to leave social media alone except where it can be used to listen to consumers, and to respond to them as a convenient customer service channel.

    the effort/resources vs ROI equation of corporate social media marketing is skewed way in favour of the “alchemists” right now, not the clients.

  27. beezlebub
    7 Mar 12
    3:09 pm

  28. Matt this sounds like a desperate plea to keep your job and those of others like you

    truth is, social media is MOST remarkable for being the biggest fad to ever be indiscriminately adopted by facile marketers easily impressed by Big Numbers but possessing few critical reasoning skills, analytical capabilities nor, tragically, much commonsense

    for the vast majority of companies, trespassing into social media has done more damage to their reputations than it has benefit, because the interwebs is a nasty, anonymous place full of whingers and squeaky wheels cruising for forums in which to spill their bile

    (you’d think any Social Media Guru would realise this from the get-go, wouldn’t you?)

    as a greater number of companies finally start heeding the advice given to them by their corporate affairs/PR people years ago and decide to opt out of the self-flagellation that is social media, people like Matt will need to reskill and carve new careers in other areas

  29. Debbie Downer
    7 Mar 12
    3:29 pm

  30. I’ve felt like I was the only one that thought this way. Thank you Matt. Nearly all of the “social media fails” can be split into two categories: Those that are actually a product/service fail that comes to light through social media, or those that are insignificant and will be forgotten a week later.

  31. Susie Rocks
    7 Mar 12
    3:47 pm

  32. I just don’t get what’s in it for the likes of Coles and Woolies to be in this space? I agree with the comment above they should just use it for customer service and stop all this cute “fill in the blank”stuff. As a marketer openly watching this all and not wanting to critisise i just don’t think social media is a fit for all companies. I love it in the clothing retail space but other than that i do agree it is just a fad that everyone seems to feel the need to try and eventually get nothing from….

  33. Sawyer
    7 Mar 12
    3:55 pm

  34. Agree with Peter, particularly with a medium such as Twitter that is largely driven by trends and news worthy topics, which works better as a customer service channel.

    As for the Woolies post not being a ‘fail’, I disagree. Yes, there will always be negative feedback (as well as positive) by users, but strategically a SM manager should gauge if a certain post would fall more heavily in one category over the other before they post, asking the question “is any feedback a ROI for the brand or further fueling negative consumer sentiment?” – particularly if the Brand has greatly skewed equity such as the 2 supermarket powers (or banks, airlines and insurance companies).

    Twitter is not as forgiving as Facebook and Woolies’ Community Manager should have known better.

  35. Sometime Strategist
    7 Mar 12
    4:03 pm

  36. Couldn’t agree any more. It’s pretty pathetic how people jump upon these incidents and start shouting ‘fail’ from the rooftops. Coles’ ‘fail’ was even the main headline on the homepage of The Age earlier – WTF? Move over Syria, Iran, world economic crisis etc – this is the really big news at the moment! More like reaction fail rather than social media fail.

    The negative comments posted by people responding to these ‘fails’ will have disappeared into the ether in about 2 minutes and no lasting damage will have been done to the brand. if anything it only humanises them more and allows their fans to jump aboard and defend them from the inevitable onslaught.

  37. Matt
    7 Mar 12
    4:05 pm

  38. Hi everyone, thanks for the comments. A few points:

    @pm: I think we actually agree on that point… I suspect the Coles part of things might have been overstated in the Mumbrella editing process. You might want to check out my original post (http://www.ireckon.com/web-mar.....ig-brands/). My gut says that:
    a) Coles really *did* make a boo-boo in this case, as they clearly published this to the wrong social profile; and
    b) To be honest, I can’t help feeling that if they *had* posted it to FB as planned and moderated it, it had something to do with outdoing WW :P

    … Still, however, the “glee” with which people jumped in to the melee was the point of the original post and hopefully still applies.

    @beezlebub, far from it :) Yes, I’ve worked in social media jobs but it’s far from my only skill… so no desperate pleas here!

  39. Mirko
    7 Mar 12
    4:23 pm

  40. beezlebub,
    do you have more details, studies or stats supporting your comment “…for the vast majority of companies, trespassing into social media has done more damage to their reputations than it has benefit,…”? I’d like to read more about that statement. Thx

  41. rob
    7 Mar 12
    4:27 pm

  42. @ Sawyer you talk of a social media strategist weighing up the pros and cons of these marketer postings – isn’t the job self-fulfilling in that if you have that role you feel obliged to write stuff whether anyone is listening or not?

    and throwing a bunch of noise at people just because you can and hoping some of it sticks is no more engaging than advertisers shouting at someone via tv or radio…..the only difference is the audience numbers make social more of a whisper in a very big room.

  43. Nicky Moore
    7 Mar 12
    4:30 pm

  44. Great article Matt though I think we’re glossing over the real problem here.

    When consumers connect with a brand on any platform they’re doing if for a reason. They might love the brand and want to show their support or maybe stay informed on the latest price cuts or they could have a complaint and are just looking to be heard. A “fill in the blanks” post doesn’t meet any of their needs or expectations. It doesn’t give anything back, it doesn’t solve their problem and it doesn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know. It was a huge fail.

    Personally I’ve never used a “fill in the blanks” post for any of my clients. Why? It’s lazy, conveys the wrong message and leaves you vulnerable to criticism. Strategists who are genuinely good at social media realise that effective engagement is about listening and responding to the individual. If you understand old school customer service techniques then you understand how Facebook Pages work. Woolworths and Coles are retailers, they should know and value how important good customer service is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re operating in store or online, the principles of good service remain the same.

    Know your audience and give them what they’re looking for and you’ll have a friend for life.

  45. Mishter
    7 Mar 12
    5:23 pm

  46. Like.

    for anyone that follows coke on FB – you’ll see they have “fails” on pretty much every post. With fan volume – fan garbage creeps in.

    It’s a social channel – not a loyalty program.

    Put enough posters up around town – someone will deface them for you. If that poster is in sydney CBD and 50 thousand people actually notice it… is that a ‘poster fail’?

    No. People see Hitler mo’s on posters every day so we don’t give a shit.

    The point is there is a big difference between the significant social fails and these “fails” that get lost in the noise of the web a day later.

  47. Michael
    7 Mar 12
    5:35 pm

  48. So…..

    An article criticising a lack of constructive criticism or proper analysis of failures is greeted with… no constructive criticism, and no real proper analysis outside of “Coles should have used Twitter and not FaceBook”? I think we have a self referential winner.

    > Know your audience and give them what they’re looking for and you’ll have a friend for life.

    What if the audience loves a fill in the blanks? And what if the negativity all came from non-target audience? That’s a win in what I’ll call “the Republican party strategy” of play to your base, ignore everyone else.

    I’ve not seen anyone actually postulated who the audience was, or how they were missed, so I’m not sure any critifcism beyond “haha people gots mad at you” is relevant.

  49. Tom Petryshen
    7 Mar 12
    5:49 pm

  50. Hey Matt thanks for sharing your views.

    I believe there are two key factors that are contributing to this mentality.

    The first is cultural. It’s part and parcel of the Ozzie bravado that everything is up for a laugh, including ourselves. After being back in Canada for the past six months and spending a fair amount of time in the US, I’ve yet to see anything close to this level of banter. Rather, marketers here tend to either be supportive or too reserved to criticise so openly.

    And as beezlebub has demonstrated, the second factor is that it’s far too easy to be petty when anonymity is so damn easy. Whether folks are hiding behind a pseudo name or just hoping that no one will call them out, far too many believe the online world is different from the real one and gives them the right to be an ass (even though we all know that no one is truly anonymous online).

    Cheers… Tom

  51. Anton Koekemoer
    7 Mar 12
    6:23 pm

  52. Great post Matt! Enjoyed reading the post and all the comments. The topic chosen makes for a great conversation starter.

  53. Chris Savage
    7 Mar 12
    7:02 pm

  54. Matt- great article. Great attitude. One has to be preapred to fail and see failure as merely a speedbump on the road to success. These so called fails are nothing more than speedbumps. Give them a break! Love the attitude. Chris Savage (STW Group)

  55. Jeepers
    7 Mar 12
    10:50 pm

  56. A good example as why people who scream Social media fail and call themselves experts are far from it, a lot of these experts were discussing this cafe, turns out it was a hoax

    http://www.aktifmag.com/how-to.....lynch-mob/

  57. Nicky Moore
    7 Mar 12
    11:21 pm

  58. @michael I think we’re talking about two separate things here. Brands have every right to introduce and enforce a code of conduct. It’s called the “like” button for a reason. If you’re a just a “troll” causing problems because you’re bored then brands have every right to exclude you from the community altogether. But this article shouldn’t be about the lack of constructive criticism offered by the posts responders. It’s not the communities job to tell the page owner how to interact. The vast majority of the community didn’t like what they saw and they spoke out about it, they’re allowed to!

    The “Happy Weekend” comment was awesome but why follow it up with a genuine question? How about “Happy weekend! What are you guys up to?” and then take the time to respond to anyone who comments? Asking the community to “fill in the blank” then walking away is an empty gesture.

  59. Panadol
    8 Mar 12
    9:26 am

  60. Social Media is always an interesting topic. And I was really looking forward to reading the article and the debate to see what I can learn. Unfortunately, I’ve just been reminded that Social Media (from a marketing perspective) is just spin (99% of the time anyway… hehe). Unfortunately you’re about as relevant and costly as DM and PR, which is a huge shame, because it would be great to see how social media can be used to influence consumers thoughts and actions

  61. beezlebub
    8 Mar 12
    9:41 am

  62. @Mirko you sound like an aspirational intellectual so why don’t you engage with the most erudite expose to date, authored by marketing prof Mark Ritson, who strongly believes social media is oversold and overrated:
    http://www.bandt.com.au/opinio.....-overrated

  63. rob
    8 Mar 12
    10:15 am

  64. @Mirko you might also like to read the view of the widely respected marketing professor Byron Sharp on the ill-advised rush to social media of most marketers http://www.marketingscience.in.....b%2011.pdf

  65. Alan
    8 Mar 12
    10:32 am

  66. This is a great example demonstrating how social media can really work. We can see a whole range of arguments about the subject. Annabelle in point 7 makes a very good point: Coles and Woolies need to learn from these points. I would say that When e-marketers can generate a rapid balanced argument like this, then that’s when the magic starts.

  67. Gil
    8 Mar 12
    12:09 pm

  68. Agreed. The gleeful, ‘gotcha’ hysteria that the marketing commentators greet these kinds of incidents with is massively disproportionate to the scale of the so-called disaster.

    Not a single article that I found paused from the outpouring of schadenfreude to mention, or probably even notice, that the Coles twitter account is actually a pretty good example of actively engaging with and responding to your customers. This week’s minor slip-up is a blip, soon to be forgotten, amidst what looks like a pretty solid track record for them.

    But it’s way more fun for the chattering bloggers shout GOTCHA #FAIL and pretend they themselves have never sent an email to the wrong person or dropped a dm into a public timeline.

  69. Daniel Young - Encoder PR
    8 Mar 12
    2:16 pm

  70. I think its unlikely that an objective for a FB brand page would ever be: propagate negative perceptions about our brand.

    These examples are clearly failures of either content or strategy.

    I do agree however that the non-constructive band wagonry is a sign of industry immaturity.

    For me this taps into another much bigger issue for brands on Facebook, which is the unsustainable nature of the inane brand updates usually ending with a question mark.

    Does anyone really believe that high value fans engage with this stuff?

    Do you really care about where I keep my phone/my plans for the weekend/my favourite colour. No, you don’t. You’re focus is on a number.

    Facebook users are maturing, they’re getting more sophisticated and less blinded by the bright lights of Facebook Pages.

    Brands will need to do more, much more, to achieve meaningful engagement. These examples – Woolies, Coles – show me how far most brands have to go when it comes to using Facebook in a relevant, compelling and entertaining way.

  71. beezlebub
    8 Mar 12
    5:10 pm

  72. Tom Petryshen do you wish to mount an argument against any of my points or those made by Rob, Byron Sharp or Mark Ritson? or are you content to just fling a personal insult?

    not a good advertisement for the ViDM brand, buddy

    but i suppose you’ve “engaged” a potential customer so that must be a good thing in the fantasy world of the social media acolyte, right?

  73. MikeZed
    8 Mar 12
    5:37 pm

  74. Good to see this made mumbrella, it’s been annoying me for a while. Personally i think part of it is the fact that it’s an easy story for lazy journalists – got some spare column inches, or need a few more posts for the blog ? Trawl through any big brand’s FB page or do a Twitter Trawl, and you’ll find something – post about it yourself, and the social media sphere will do the rest. It’s happened with Woolies, Macca’s etc. Non-stories that suddenly find themselves on the home page of SMH because a brand beat up story is easy impressions.

  75. Doug
    9 Mar 12
    5:56 pm

  76. Knowing a lot of farmers and their utter collective loathing of Coles, I’d say Coles and their ruthless management style got what they deserved. A little kick in the pants. it wouldn’t be such a FAIL, if Coles actually had their corporate ethics in place. The Social Media gurus should have done their homework and not be blinded by the clients wallet. I don’t think its just a matter of maturing I think its also advising a client “Lift your game and don’t promote a fallacy”…they got off lightly.

  77. Jane Wong
    12 Mar 12
    12:56 pm

  78. The cries of ‘fail’ come easily in Australia. We are not early adopters and we like to hammer the things that we are sceptical of. In this instance both the criticism and the action appears to come from a point of ignorance.

    I’m with Nicky Moore on this one. ‘Fill in the blanks’ and hashtag marketing is lazy and frequently shows a lack of reuquisite understanding of the target audience.

    In Australia there is a tendency to throw social media to the younger staffers who have little guidance or comprehension of the seriousness of interacting directly with a public audience. In the USA the role is given to Director level staff with a median salary of $115k. The role is strategic and integrated into businesses on many levels, not just as an adjunct to marketing.

    These senior people approach networking online with true strategic appraisals and evaluation of the psychographics and habits of both customer, stakeholders and company employees. They establish moderation and governance guidlines to manage online communications and set calendars that are created based on the company’s annual public relations, CRM, HR, promotions, sponsorships and advertising plans.

    Senior level Strategic Planners of social media listen to conversation about the brand online in order to deliver a better product, service or business proposition in response to consumer demands. Understanding online sentiment means that they can appropriately manage content that adds value and effectively converse with those who wish to engage the brand.

    Most importantly, they avoid being purely broadcast or glibly publishing content that will jeopardise the reputations of risk averse clients. And why do brands now engage social media specialists? According to Nielsen, only 14% of the public trust ads but 90% trust peer recommendations, and much of that exchange is happening online, within social networks.

  79. Angus Smallwood
    12 Mar 12
    4:58 pm

  80. Fail?

    Getting a former customer to tell you why they no longer buy your product or service so that you’ve got a chance to turn that decision around? That’s only a fail if you don’t think you can change their mind because you know your product or service is rubbish or because you think it’s going to be more expensive to get them to change their minds than it is to convince someone else to become a customer for the first time.

    There’s even a business that’s started selling this service to companies uVent.com.au, and Social Media lets you do it for free. You’re not only showing the disgruntled former customer that you care, you’re showing the whole world you do. Social Media only works if you’re actually prepared to listen and to show that you are listening by following up your promises with real, satisfactory action.

  81. Gidget
    13 Mar 12
    1:15 pm

  82. ‘Social media marketer’ is an oxymoron. You can’t control the message using social media, so (if you’re a brand) don’t try and (if you’re an observer) don’t expect brands to do so. Unless you’re using social media for meaningful engagement then get out of the space.