My bad social marketing story has a happily ever after ending. The company did the right thing.
Recently I posted about WalMart and their terrible video marketing campaign on MSN.ca. As a result of that post, I received a tweet from @Powermat that was essentially spam. So I wrote a post about that bad social marketing experience.
A couple of days later, I received a comment from a representative of Powermat. Here is what he had to say:
You are correct that this was an example of bad marketing. Managing a brand like Powermat, you get a lot of new technologies approaching you to use their services. Some we like, some we don’t. This time we thought this particular vendor would be beneficial for the brand. However, this morning we found out that this bot had sent close to 1,000 tweets over the weekend! Suffice to say, we were pretty unpleased with this and have since stopped using this particular service. Working in social media I can tell you that this is definitely not the way to promote products online. You are correct and sorry for the inconvenience.
Social marketing is supposed to be about customization and responsiveness. It is about interaction. It is about engaging the customer. In this situation, with a little hiccup, Powermat did engage. I’m shocked that they even found my little blog, but then to take the effort to reply…
The lesson here is that if you are going to undertake social marketing, you need to commit the resources to manage the effort. And, you need to actually respond to customers, both when the complain and when they praise. If you aren’t prepared to invest the time, and if you aren’t willing to deal with the complaints, then skip social marketing. It will only raise expectations of your customer and then disappoint them.