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A Social Media Faux Pas

Everyone – individuals and businesses alike – seems to be jumping on to the social media bandwagon recently. Understandable, I suppose, given the increasing importance placed on establishing an online presence in order to keep up with current events, establish open lines of communication and even making sure your complaints are heard.

However, it seems there is a certain etiquette to using social media as a marketing tool, something that became evident to me after attending the inaugural Digital Media Forum 2012 in Dubai.

If the
first rule of social media is to not ignore your fans or followers, then the second must be to maintain transparency to the best of your ability. A key example of just how important it is to be honest with your audience is the recent stunt pulled by FC Bayern Munich. The renowned European football club attempted to drive traffic to their Facebook page by promising fans that if they clicked the ‘like’ button, they would essentially be the first to find out who the club’s latest signing was.

However, when the time of the great unveiling came about, fans were struck with disappointment as the only thing that was ‘revealed’ was the club’s new app, titled ‘The New FCB Star’. Needless to say, the club was faced with a massive backlash from fans who felt they had been unnecessarily duped and were left with no choice but to issue an apology in a bid to placate the angry mob. Moral of the story: be creative, but try not to upset anyone along the way – after all, the last thing you want is to get stuck doing damage control on your Facebook wall.

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