Yeah, I would not have wanted to be their social media manager today. Yikes. How do you start to damage control that?Via I Work In Social Media
In case you missed it, the UK entertainment chain HMV fired a mass of employees this morning. One of the employees took to their official Twitter account to express her disappointment:
(Screenshot courtesy Paul Steele: https://twitter.com/thenativepaul/status/296992283457355776/photo/1)
The general tone on Twitter seems to be of approval, of “Hell yeah, you go girl!” and of “HMV got what was coming to them.” The ex-employee behind the tweets was Poppy Powers, who further addressed her concerns on her personal account:
So this is the situation we seem to have: Poppy was hired two years ago (at 19, if her Twitter bio [screenshot below] is correct) as an intern for HMV. She assumed sole responsibility of the company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and by all appearances, managed them very well. A year and a half ago, she was hired on by the company after her internship ended. She sounds very passionate about social media, and worked to educate coworkers and upper management about the importance of serving your customers on social media. All well and good.
Where it turns not so well and good is when Poppy takes it upon herself to show her former employers the kind of damage that social media can wreak when in the wrong hands. She claimed to have “no other choice” as the company she loved was being ruined. But it seems to me that she wanted to be implicit in the ruination herself. As someone who loved the company so much, to take the power that she held (a microphone to the thousands of customers of HMV) and use that to insult the upper management… well, it seems a bit incongruous to me.
I’ve been in a position similar to Poppy before: a bad situation happened at one of my previous jobs and led to a parting of the ways. I had control over the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. I had actually created the Facebook page, and at the time, creators could not be removed from the page. I could not be removed from the page of a company I was no longer employed at and had left not entirely amicably. I could have done some serious damage. But I loved the company, still… I loved the customers and I loved what the company, at heart, stood for, no matter what my disagreement with upper management. Needless to say, I didn’t touch the accounts that I still had access to, and when I was finally able to remove myself from the Facebook page, I did so as quickly as possible.
One key difference between Poppy and I: I wasn’t a 21 year old who was coming out of (what can be assumed was) the only real job I’d ever had. I can understand having an axe to grind, but I imagine that, if Poppy is lucky enough to continue a career in social media after this (I sure as heck would be afraid to hire her), she’ll soon learn that, in the working world, loving a company means keeping your beef to yourself sometimes. She may have thought that she was making a grand gesture about integrity and love of a brand, but what it seems to me is someone who is very inexperienced retaliating in a very immature manner to a disappointment.
I imagine HMV (and other companies for that matter) will think long and hard before handing over complete control of their image to interns in the future.
(See also: a very good storify of the debacle: http://storify.com/berkson0/hmv-and-twitter-hmvxfactor)
UPDATE Thursday, 9:38pm
After tweeting this story, one of the other former members of the HMV team responded with this information:
While I agree that, as a social media manager, having your hands tied for two weeks is a huge hinderance upon your job and the brand you’re representing, I still don’t think that what Poppy did was right, whether she created those accounts or not. What you create on behalf of a company is the property of that company… that’s in pretty much every contract you sign.
As for this giving them reason to think social is important and to reconsider cutting it, look at it from another perspective… this is a fiasco that has blown up in their faces. Many companies are afraid to get into social because they feel they can’t control the message. Poppy has just proved their fears right and possibly shied them away from letting someone else have that much control over their brand image again. If social continues at HMV, I’m willing to bet it will be sanitized, controlled, approved, and as far from connected to the customer as you can get.
If you have been around me for 5 minutes you know I am a social networking junkie. How bad is it? I have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a Foursquare. The latter probably the least used but in my opinion the most powerful. Many people I interact with feel location-based social networks create an invasion of privacy but I believe it opens up opportunity.
A perfect example is what just transpired during my current stay in Chicago. I arrived in Chicago on Friday and I “check in” to just about every place I go, and that did not change when I arrived at my hotel The Hyatt Regency Chicago. I didn’t really think anything of it because it’s such a habit to me now. What was kind of cool a little later in the day though was a tweet from the Hyatt to me thanking me for my stay. It was a pleasant surprise but then I remembered my Foursquare and Twitter accounts are linked. The Hyatt replying to my “check in” was great to me because it showed me they get it. The marketing team at this Hyatt realize that if you’re going to have and manage a social presence then it must be to form relationships. Tweeting to me thanking me for my stay was a great gesture and definitely made me feel welcome. I didn’t expect it and I sure didn’t expect what was next.
Tonight I was relaxing in my room and I heard a knock at the door. There was a waiter at my door and the 1st thing I was about to say was, “You have the wrong room I didn’t order room service.” But before I could say anything the man asked me if I was Mr. McCloud, and after I told him he explained that I received a complimentary gift from the hotel. He placed 2 ice cold Goose Island 312 beer’s as well as some Gary Poppin’s popcorn in my room as well as card.In the card was another thank you from the hotel for me staying and that if I needed help I could reach out to them.
So not only did I receive a thank you tweet but I also received gifts?! Now to some this may not be a big deal but the gesture is more important to me than the actual gifts. The biggest reason I felt the need to even write this post about this experience is because the Hyatt Regency Chicago get’s it. They understand the power of social media and how taking action and owning your online identity is the way to go.
Kudos to Hyatt Regency Chicago. My stay isn’t over but it has been good so far and thanks for the gift! Also thank you for being smart and owning and managing your online identity.
Check out the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s website: http://www.chicagoregency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-chicagoregency/index.jsp?null
I love little random acts of social kindness like this from brands. Even something as little as the time BoudinSF tweeted back at me to ask how much lunch was (after a checkin) goes a long way.Via SeanMcCloudMKTG + More
WHEN KMART TWEETED THEIR CONDOLENCES ABOUT THE NEWTOWN SHOOTING, AND THEN INCLUDED A PROMOTIONAL HASHTAG.
When will people learn… seriously.Via What Should We Call Social Media
(This story is from back in September now, but we hadn’t seen it until now, and thought you may have missed it too)
Twitter is a fantastic tool for business. It allows retailers to promote, advertise, and drive traffic to their online shops. Some businesses frequently offer you a free download or voucher code in return for a customer tweeting about it. But this idea has been taken a step further:
Kellogg’s opened the world’s first Twitter shop in London in September. It was designed to promote a new Special K product, and instead of paying with cash, customers could get hold of a snack in return for a simple tweet about it.
“The value of positive endorsement on social media sites is beyond compare, so we’re excited to be the first company to literally use social currency instead of financial currency to launch this new product in our bespoke Special K shop”, Kellogg’s said.
This sort of promotion proves the power of social media as a marketing tool. But moreover, it shows just one way it’s possible to embrace on and offline promotion. Today, neither will work well alone — it’s all about finding away to create a powerful campaign tailored to your business.
So, if you’d like us to find a new way to help your business, get in touch: email@example.com
You can follow us on Twitter here: @studiojubilee
A few of the design websites I frequent occasionally use the “Pay With A Tweet” scheme to give away promo packages or bonus extras to orders. I’ve both used this pay structure and found out about new services via the tweets of others, so I would say it works. What do you think?Via Studio Jubilee — Blog
Q&A: Claire Diaz-Ortiz, the Woman Who Got the Pope on Twitter
At 30, Claire Diaz-Ortiz already has a pretty impressive resume. She works as the Manager of Social Innovation at Twitter, founded a charity to help orphaned children in sub-Saharan Africa and literally wrote the book on how to use social networking for philanthropy. But last week she added something rather special to her curriculum vitae: She got the Pope on Twitter.
I never tire of learning more about the awesome women in this field and what they’re doing.Via Productive Gossip
Great article about the unsocialness of some social media from Deb Ng. An excerpt:
Something I’m noticing lately is that in everyone’s struggle to be social, they’re not being social at all. Being social does not mean sharing only links. It means reaching out and getting to know people. And if you did know your community, you’d know they don’t want you to spam them the second they follow you on Twitter.
Look, whether it’s sales, traffic, or brand recognition, your community knows you have an end goal. They didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. They know why you want them to follow you on the social networks. It’s all about the sale, and they get it. What they don’t want is for you to invade their personal space with your spammy messaging. You can sell to them as long as you don’t always look like you’re selling to them, but when you start ringing their personal doorbell you’re taking the message too far.
I know that, as a community manager, I’ve been directly asked by bosses to do this kind of spammy messaging. And I have… feeling icky about it all the time. The struggle, though, is that if you’re looking purely at numbers, this kind of spamming works. It gets numbers, which to the unknowlegeable eye, looks like a return on investment. But those numbers don’t give you the kind of engagement that you’re looking for in most cases. I wholeheartedly agree with Deb’s summation of her piece: “In fact, I’ll argue that it’s better to cultivate a community of fanatics that may be smaller and more targeted, than to have hundreds of thousands of people following you who won’t actually buy your stuff or read your content.”
What do you think? Do you get real results using auto-DMs and copy/paste letters? Or do you concentrate your efforts elsewhere?
I saw this the other day via Pinterest. Definitely something to keep handy. And beautiful to boot.Via Megan in (UW)-Madison