The rise of social media has given customers unprecedented access to companies. This can be a double-edged sword: companies are able to communicate with customers in more ways than ever, but they need to be aware that communication is a two-way process.
Customer expectations have risen accordingly and they are willing to act against companies who don’t meet their expectations:
Social media attack
- Think twice before changing products – For nearly two centuries, Earl Grey has been the tea of genteel contentment. But as Twinings changed the flavour of the popular hot drink, its drinkers where rising in revolt against Twinings
- Price increase lead to social media attack – Sony came under bushfire for raising prices on Houston’s music in the UK
- Verizon Wireless canceled a planned $2 “convenience fee” for online and phone bill payments after a backlash from consumers
- Consumers have the power to make changes – A consumer backlash led to Bank of America Corp. canceling a $5-per-month fee for debit card users
- 6 key BP social media attacks – BP have been under heavy social media attack in the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
- Before the rise of social media – Papa John’s restaurant, “lady chinky eyes” on a customers receipt
- Responding to a social media crisis before it is too late – A YouTube user uploaded a video of a FedEx delivery person throwing a video monitor into his/her yard. Just days after video of a FedEx employee went viral, a surveillance video from a Long Island home shows a UPS delivery worker making a crude hand gesture
- Tesco blogger becomes internet sensation after false shampoo accusation – A mother from Hayling Island has become an internet sensation after she blogged about being wrongly accused of shoplifting
- Fake Twitter accounts can be detrimental to companies – The creation of malicious fake Twitter accounts can detrimental to companies – the damage they can do in short order is considerable
- Fail to understand the power of social media – Intel was attacked by activists opposed to minerals mining in the Congo inundated Intel’s Facebook page
- Social media has shifted the balance of power – United repeatedly refused to listen and take corrective action after damaging the guitars of Dave Carroll
- Leveraging social media to its great advantage – Greenpeace launched this campaign, when volunteers began putting posters up around BNP branches and stickers on its ATM machines asking the public: “Do you know what your bank does with your money?”. Greenpeace also launched the “Unfriend Coal” targeting Facebook
- Bank customers hitting back through social media – Bank of America rewarded one of their customers loyalty by repeatedly raising interest rate – than the customer turned to YouTube
- Act quickly to avoid a corporate image nightmare – Air Canada acted quickly to repair a wheelchair – special motorized chair – belonging to 10-year-old passenger Tanner Bawn fighting muscular dystrophy
- Prepare for social media attacks – Nestlé, maker of Kit Kat, was attacked by Greenpeace for using palm oil from companies that where trashing Indonesian rainforests, threatening the livelihoods of local people and pushing orang-utans towards extinction
- Social media has given consumers a whole new voice – What happens when your brand gets its 15 minutes of fame on YouTube, but for the wrong reason? This is exactly what Taco Bell went through
Social media failure
- 3 types of corporate Twitter failure and disasters – The Red Cross’s social media specialist Gloria Huang, by accident, expresses a personal tweet on the company’s home page
- Yet another social media failure – The official Twitter account of Chrysler brand vehicles dropped the F-bomb in an update from an employee at the automaker’s social media agency
- 3 key elements in issuing a company apology – Also known as the Netflix PR disaster, it taught us to consider social media as an integral part of marketing rather than an afterthought
- Don’t tell customers they’re not needed – Many of Nikon’s Facebook fans didn’t take a status update well
- How not to use hashtags to market products and services – When American clothing designer Kenneth Cole posts the advertisement with the hashtag #Cairo, the Twitterverse almost turns against him
- Is this what social media fail looks like – 900+ comments and no response from VW
- Corporate Twitter fail – The Vodafone Twitter account Tweeted this message: @VodafoneUK: is fed up of dirty homo’s and is going after beaver
- Better stick to corporate social media policies – CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, Octavia Nasr, was shown the door after sending a tweet that expressed respect for the Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.
The organisation of the furture will be more transparent than ever before. Firms will find it increasingly hard to hide poor service, high pricing or unpopular practices, as technology makes them more visible to end-consumers. Just as social media aided political protests around the world, so too will it allow consumers to put firms in the spotlight. In the austere decade that lies ahead, firms will need to behave better than ever, or risk a consumer backlash.
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