Social Media Tantrums


We're like children having tantrums, when we get ignored on Twitter

I’m posting this quite a while after the event because I don’t want you going back and figuring out who I’m talking about. While I’d love that kind of publicity for my blog, I do enjoy my job and would like to keep it.

It’s not too hard to find out who I work for, but as ever, I won’t be telling you here. I work for a big brand that provides a service to consumers. When we get it right, which is more often than not, people are genuinely hugely happy and appreciative, but the flipside of that is when we get it wrong or customers have to wait, they can be massively negative and frustrated, which I can appreciate, even if it’s for circumstances beyond our control. What I do not appreciate is people using offensive, rude language in order to gain a reaction and express themselves.

Today, a very minor celebrity began an explosive tirade of tweets towards our company. The first few were not directed at our Twitter account but just mentioned our company name, so, because of the way our monitoring tool is currently calibrated, we missed them. I do realise we need to address this.

However, then one of his followers alerted him to our news Twitter feed (we have two, the other is for Customer Care). At this point I decided to intervene with our stock ‘We’re sorry you were not happy with the service you received, please contact xxx@xxx.co.uk.’

This seemed to placate him somewhat and his following tweets returned to plugging his TV show and being generally offensive, rather than directing it at us.

Now, it has become apparent to me that this man has become notorious for his obnoxious behaviour and manners, or lack there of. However, as my mum pointed out, you could have been forgiven for thinking that this was purely his television persona. This does not appear to be the case.

There are several issues that annoyed me here. I shall number them:

  1. The language used in these tweets was foul; really offensive. I hope he wouldn’t speak to any of our phone operatives the way he felt was appropriate to tweet.
  2. This Z-lister didn’t highlight what this issue was. It was very hard for me to defend our actions or even apologise for them when I didn’t know what we’d done.
  3. He had already been in contact with our Customer Care team who were dealing with the matter.

I believe that this tweeter was venting purely to seek attention and attack our brand. I’m guilty of this too. I’ll cause a fuss over bad customer service until I get a response (or bored). I did it with Dorothy Perkins because I was annoyed that they somehow could not find my house for one of some hundred deliveries, I did it with GBK when we saw one of their staff standing on the work surface to reach a bottle of wine and then failing to wipe down the work surface afterwards. We all want to get a reaction, we’re like children. But in this case the matter was probably already in hand.

I just have a real issue with people, they don’t have to be celebrities, but people who have managed to garner an audience, using Social Media to express themselves in such a disgusting manner. I assume from the job this man holds he is educated at least to the point where he should know how to conduct himself. If you’re going to complain, at least use clean language and construct a valid argument.

On the plus side, this man is widely regarded as rude and offensive. I think he realises it, so most of his followers will no doubt take this as another of his scathing, but ultimately inane rants. Further more the lifespan of a tweet is about 6 seconds and he tweets a lot, pushing his angrier tweets down the page.

I’m not sure who came off worse really. I think more people know our brand than him and I dare say more people care about us too.

People should really be more considerate when using Social Media to communicate.

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  • Jill May 26, 2012, 10:20 am

    I have no idea how this individual’s relationship with your company will pan out in the future. Perhaps he/she will always have a low regard for the company based on his/her experience and will therefore have no further dealings with your company. On the other hand, there may come a time, through accident or design, when he/she will have cause to view your company in a more positive light.
    I have acquaintances who have also had unfortunate experiences with your company, but that was in the distant past. My own experience has been much more positive and when I had need of its services, the company was extremely quick to respond and I have been spreading the word of this ever since. Most of my acquaintances have since returned to your company based on personal recommendation in conjunction with competitive deals offered by your company. Total satisfaction so far…. As long as your company listens to customers (the less articulate as well as the ones who have more respect for the English language) and uses the feedback both to improve its service and to offer some small compensation as a means of winning public goodwill, then your company will go from strength to strength. It must also be hugely beneficial for your company to be employing personnel like of yourself who constantly and consistently promote its merits and display total loyalty.