Pay Attention To Fans Because Snubbing Is Fair Play
September 10, 2013
"Complain-vertising" is perhaps the latest trend set by Chicago businessman, Hasan Syed.
When Syed couldn't get a call back or an email response from British Airways over lost luggage, he took to Twitter, something many folks already do. But how Syed used the platform is something we haven't seen before.
Syed decided to elevate his voice (and frustration) with paid "promoted tweets."
Paid tweets look like regular tweets but they are stamped with "Promoted by," highlighted in your live feed and targeted towards specific people.
Below are two examples of what the various paid tweets looked like that Syed composed:
Simultaneously, Syed tweeted non-paid messages from his account, too - whatever it took to get British Airways to acknowledge him:
Syed was savvy enough to target the Twitter users he really wanted to see his messaging. He directed his tweets to followers of British Airways as well as those who follow big media brands like Mashable. Syed wanted to get his point across and it worked.
Mashable ended up breaking the story, propelling it to be shared over 19,000 times on various social sites.
As it spread across social networks and other digital media outlets, support for Syed was growing. And that is when British Airways eventually got around to responding to him:
So Syed got his luggage back, and ended his "complain-vertising." In his final tweet about this, he shared with everyone the results of his paid tweets:
Pre social, it's been said that the average unhappy customer will tell 10 people about their experience.
Post social – in this case - Syed reached about 76.8 thousand people (and that was just from his paid campaign). Add in everyone that shared/covered his story and his impressions are in the hundreds of thousands.
The point is that an everyday consumer was willing to drop $1,000 to openly snub British Airways over lousy customer service. He has now also influenced other consumers and fans alike to not just speak up but if possible – raise their voice with their wallets.
Snubbing is fair play today.
Even if social networks like Twitter take note of this tactic and place restrictions on this type of "complain-vertising," this should bother every brand out there. Social arrogance - behaving in such a dismissive, mechanical, and uncaring way doesn't work.
Consumers are realizing they have equal footing when it comes to voice amplification. Many brands still don't "get" that social is personal. This is their space. If you want their loyalty, pay attention to how you behave as a brand on it.
Creating a customer service policy should no longer be built around what's convenient for you as a brand – as uncomfortable as that makes you feel.
Twitter is an indicator of emotional response. It's time for every brand to learn its strength and get strategic in this space.
(And maybe get ahead of potential public shame.)
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.