Brands gone bad

credit: scottchan

Oh brands. Why do some of you have to be so…crass?

Okay, I get it, you want to be seen as human, engaged and involved in the latest social media trending hashtag, but really, lets stop with the selling and start trying to have conversations, which is, after all what social media is supposed to be about.

An iconic singer has just died. It’s very sad. People are buying her albums in droves. What do you do? Ignore the news? Send out a tweet saying how sad the team are about it, maybe talk about how brilliant it was seeing her in concert? Not if you’re Microsoft, who decided that the right thing to do would be to direct people to their store to make a purchase in her memory.

Quite rightly, Twitter went nuts and Microsoft was forced to apologise.

But clearly, not much has been learnt since the ill-judged tweet from four months ago.

Interestingly, on both occasions the brands apologised by saying that they were sorry that “the tweet was negatively perceived” or in the latest case that the tweet “seemed purely commercially motivated”. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems a bit of a cop out. It sounds like the person offended is being blamed for taking offense. What the brand should have done back in March is apologise, admit the mistake and then make an effort to learn from it – which clearly hasn’t happened.

It does show just how thoughtless some brands can be when using social media, and that however much they want to appear connected to their community, they really aren’t, and that they just regard social media as an extra sales channel.

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