It's interesting reading the amount of negative feedback large companies are experiencing from social media. Consumers are now able to connect and communicate directly with their service providers or local companies via social media and are finally being heard.
This morning I wanted to share a few examples of companies who have experienced an unusual wave of negative feedback after executing what is perceived to be on paper "A very successful campaign idea."
- In my previous blog, Top 2011 Social Media Slipups, you might remember Qantas Air made the top 10 list: Last November the Australian airline launched a Twitter contest asking followers to describe their “dream luxury in-flight experience” and planned to award top tweets with prizes of pajamas and toiletries. Unfortunately the airline stopped contract talk with their union the day prior to launching their Twitter campaign. Customers were of course still upset from grounded air fleets the month prior, and decided to hijack the campaigns Twitter hashtag, #QantasLuxury, and post thousands of angry tweets to the company.
- Rogers Twitter Backlash: fresh out of the news, Rogers experienced a large wave of customer backlash after promoting a tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #Rogers1Number. This essentially encouraged tweeters to use their hashtag to complain to Rogers about their service issues, price increases and suggest that people switch to other service providers. This attracted the attention of many media outlets.
- In 2009 Starbucks experienced a wave of negative feedback from their consumers after promoting the hashtag #top3percent, where they encouraged consumers to take pictures of Starbucks advertisements outside of their store and post the pictures on Twitter with the hashtag (essentially creating a small army of micropromoters).
- GoDaddy superbowl commercials: Like many I was watching the superbowl commercials while on Twitter, it as interesting to see the flood of complaints from consumers with regards to their latest commercials. Some call them overly sexy, others were confused by the advertisements - wondering if GoDaddy was a porn site, and other (both men and women) complained about sexism within the commercials. For me personally, there was no real brand message in their commercials.
- You will have to forgive me that I have forgotten the name of the company, but several months ago one of the larger companies in North America launched a social media campaign to help with brand awareness. As part of their marketing campaign they issued a press release informing people what they can expect with this upcoming campaign, even releasing the name of the campaign before securing their Twitter handle. Of course someone out there got wind of this, registered the campaign name in Twitter as their own and began taking over the campaign and the campaign hastag as their own. They successfully ran the Twitter account for several days before being shut down. This of course is a great example of getting a handle on your campaign before releasing all the details to the general public.
There is of course a reason why I bring up these examples. There is an important learning curve from these Twitter mistakes for not only marketers planning the next big social media marketing campaign, but from companies as well. The power of word of mouth is even more evident in social media, tread lightly.