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GUILTY, TILL PROVEN INNOCENT

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

guilt
Remember what you learnt in school?
Well time to forget it.

2 instances over the past two days make me feel that a new era is upon us, which has relevance to us as human beings and brands.

On a social media site one woman put up a long post accusing another member of having stolen another person’s business, put him on the road etc. It was just that. An accusation with no facts. Within minutes the member who was accused responded saying it was not true and that it was her legitimate business. And then the rest of the group erupted. Of the 100s of comments posted, just 2 asked the accuser for evidence. The rest were after the person accused asking for business plans, dates, employee names etc etc. The group had decided that a guilty verdict was on.

Another woman posted this picture 10704104_10152314070461857_8179011347410255662_n

The complaint was that they found a cockroach in their starter. They put it aside. Ate the entire meal. The bill came to 18,000 KSH. Then they pointed out the cockroach. The interactions are posted below.

(SO G Bar SEND ME A RESPONSE TO THE COMPLAINT ABOUT THE COCKROACH IN OUR FOOD… SO THEIR STORY IS WE WERE BEGGING FOR FREE FOOD!!! WE GO TO THIS BAR SO OFTEN THAT WE ACTUALLY FORGAVE THEM FOR THE INCIDENT AND CONTINUED EATING THERE… AND THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY… BEYOND VEXED!!!!
WHOEVER WROTE THIS PR NOTE NEEDS TO BE FIRED AND FED ALL THOSE ROACHES!!!
P.S THE ROACH WAS FOUND AFTER THE PERSON COMPLETED THE MEAL… TO CLAIM THAT WE MOVED IT ASIDE AND COMPLETED THE FOOD IS JUST STUPID!!!!! AND WHY WOULD WE THREATEN YOU? YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS AND THIS IS THE REASON WE POSTED THIS PICTURE!!!!!
WE PAID THE FULL BILL OF ABOUT 18K AND WE DID NOT TAKE THE 900BOD DISCOUNT!!! YES, US BEGGARS!

The bar response was thus..
Dear S,

The cockroach was found in the starter portion of your meal. However after complaining, and voicing your disgust, you and the other 6 people on the table continued and completed your main course with satisfaction, You then demanded a full discount on all the items consumed ..threatening to post your carefully taken photo on social media and other media.. Francis rightly offered you a partial discount.
We note with interest that the cockroach is on the plate and not put aside, which any reasonable person would have done. Your picture clearly shows that you enjoyed the dish with the cockroach on it.
You may have found this an opportune moment to claim a free meal for you and others on the table. This was not possible as your table happily consumed all the food ordered despite the cockroach. This seemed contradictory, and attempting to claim a free meal with threats was done in bad taste.
G Bar strives to provide a quality product at all times and we highly regret this incident.)

I don’t know about you, but if I find a cockroach in my starter course I am going to make a scene right there, or at least bring it to the attention of the waiter/manager and not wait till the end of the meal. There is some reason to suspect the diner’s version of events. It doesn’t meet the justice criteria of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ And, obviously, the bar could have responded much better.
However, the picture had done the damage. Everyone, responding do the lady’s post was on the side of the lady. The bar being one of the most famous bars in the city will probably continue unharmed.A smaller one would go down under.

As you can see from both the above cases people no longer have the time and patience to wait to find out what’s right or wrong. Decisions are made instantly and then get fed on by others and before you know it minds are made.
Equipped with a smartphone, one becomes the judge and jury and digital vigilante justice is meted out mercilessly.

As a marketer one runs this risk everyday.
What if it is your brand that is at the receiving end? Are you equipped to move quickly? If not it is time.

I recommend a simple 4 step process:

First the listening. Many companies have set up listening posts of varying types for themselves or their clients so on a real time basis they know what is being said.
Second is the analysis. Hearing the words is one part of the job. Interpreting it is the next. Simple rules can be set up as alerts. eg cockroach and your brand should never be used in the same post. Set up the rule so that if someone says it, it bubbles up immediately.
Third is the response. What is the rule? Accepting and apologising is the start of the ‘healing’ process. Ignoring or combating doesn’t work at all. Start the conversation and steer the person off social media to an acceptable solution
Fourth is measuring. Now that you’ve solved the problem can you convert that story into a favorable one? Will the person communicate that she had a problem that was solved and now she thinks the better of the brand/company?

Marketing is now a 24X7 activity and speed and a proper process will decide whether you are innocent or guilty!

not-guilty1-e1350962384762-600x286

Social media workflow

This is a good article that answers the ‘So how do I get started in Social Media?” question.

While the article is rather informative for beginners I think the most important sentence is ‘Social media is like a marathon. Not a sprint.”

In an era of Quarterly planning, that is probably going to be the toughest challenge. It will take a wise client or a brave agency to make that commitment.

Interesting view on Social Media Marketing

Very thought provoking article on Social Media Marketing.

It introduces the concept of 6 spheres and aligns them to the Customer funnel to purchase.

I still need to get my head around it, I confess.

But let that not come in your way!!

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