Being a digital communications professional, I get very excited to see brands I like or use establishing a presence on social media.
Unfortunately, not every brand knows how to use social media appropriately. Neither do they realise the damage they can do by misusing it.
Here is a story that’s more a personal experience than a case study.
Blue Frog is on social media. They have a Facebook Group(many in fact, to keep up with their numerous members) and a Twitter account. A quick visit to their social media pages will show you that they use social media to:
- Announce schedules and upcoming gigs
- Give out further information on said gigs
- Share good music
- Drive people to Blue Frog with incentives and contests
- Respond to conversations
Keep in mind that last one. ‘Respond to conversations’.
Now for the story.
The wife, a friend and I heard that Indian Ocean were playing at Blue Frog. Being longtime fans, we decided to go. It was too late to book a table, so we figured we’d just go hang with other general janata.
The line stretched really far back. Then we overheard someone asking a bouncer, “How many people are in already?”
“400,” replied the bouncer.
“And how many do you plan to let in?”
We shook our heads, dug fingers in our ears to make sure we’d heard right. 700 people packed into that (relatively) tiny space?
When we entered, there was no room to move. We dug out a space at the bar and hung on for dear life. The concert began. People kept entering, squeezing past us in tight confines, smelling of sweat and booze and stale cigarettes. Others went out for a smoke, and came back in, pushing and shoving on each leg of the journey.
It was so bad, we could hardly focus on the awesome music Indian Ocean was playing. It was like listening to a CD in a car.
Irritated, I tweeted.
I waited for a response. After all, @thebluefrog had tweeted something just nine minutes earlier. Surely they could not ignore this message.
A girl standing beside us began to feel claustrophobic, and sat down on the floor, leaning against the bar. A spontaneous group formed around us, with the guys trying to cordon off some space using our bodies to block the relentless crowd.
And still the gates remained open.
Now I was bloody upset. Blue Frog isn’t cheap. The ticket cost Rs. 300, and the first round of drinks (a beer and a martini) set us back Rs. 1400. And it just wasn’t feeling like an experience worth paying for.
The band announced that they’d be back on Sunday for all the fans who couldn’t get in. Blue Frog tweeted about the repeat gig. Apologised for the long lines. Apologised to individual tweeple who tweeted about not getting in.
And somehow missed out on apologising to me.
An hour-and-a-half into the concert, we decided that it wasn’t worth it. We left. Before the band had played Kandisa, their signature song. And before we left, I lashed out on Twitter for the last time.
Needless to say, we didn’t.
How did Blue Frog goof? You might say that they did apologise, they did plan a repeat gig.
But I say that they focused (and continue to focus) on reaching out to prospective consumers, enticing them, wooing them. And completely ignored those of us who had already bought the product and weren’t happy with it.
@thebluefrog continue to sell on Twitter, announcing gigs, responding to praise. “All is well,” to use a much-abused line.
But unless they begin to respond to all conversations rather than just the happy ones, they’re gonna have a social media fire on their hands…sooner rather than later.