Following from last week’s post ‘Consumers on Social Media’ which discussed the way that brands are failing to match consumer expectation, this post looks at a number of brand twitter fails that have emerged in the past few days.
The first comes from the McDonald’s, who used Twitter as a platform to encourage customers to share their McDonald’s experience using the hashtag #McDStories. However, feelings were less than warm and fuzzy towards the global restaurant. Instead twitter users shared negatives views and stories about the chain.
Whilst McDonald’s set about to turn the campaign around to a more positive light, this particular case highlights how brands need to be aware that campaigns may not take the direction that was intended.
Social media has a way of exposing the mistakes and wrongdoings of any company, whether that comes from a campaign or from one particular customer’s negative experience. This was the case for gym chain, LA Fitness. Following a letter sent to The Guardian by a heavily pregnant reader who sought help against the gym, after they insisted she pay the full 24 months membership fees despite being pregnant and moving 12 miles away from their nearest gym. Her husband had also been made redundant leaving the couple relying on state benefits.
After a six week battle, LA Fitness agreed to waive six months of fees, leaving them still owing the remaining £360. Following publication of the letter in The Guardian a twitter storm ensued with some outraged readers cancelling their memberships. In a complete about turn, LA Fitness agreed to waive all remaining charges- announcing the decision with an apology on their Twitter account.
Thanks to social media, the consumer has gained power and influence with businesses under increasing scrutiny. Whenever a crisis occurs, brands need to consider exactly how they should respond and to ensure that the response is timely and demonstrates empathy. Timing is crucial in taking back control of any crisis; therefore brands need to be ready to act at any point.
Finally, Snickers set out confusing the followers of former glamour model Katie Price, when they took over her account on Sunday earlier this week with tweets on the global economy. Most presumed she had been hacked considering the economy wasn’t a likely choice for Price to cover.
It was finally revealed that it was in fact a stunt from Snickers as part of their current campaign, “You aren’t you when you’re hungry”. Views on the stunt vary; with some applauding the stunt and others suggesting that Snickers have put out the message that eating a bar can make you appear unintelligent. Let us know what you think of the stunt by leaving a comment below.
In an aside, Snickers have taken an entertaining approach with their current advertising campaign, supporting the twitter stunt, which features ex-Dynasty stars Joan Collins and Stephanie Beacham.