- Content Marketing
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
How not to use Twitter: HabitatUK as a case study
Posted on June 20th 2009
Habitat is a trendy furniture store, set up by Terence Conran in the 1970s, for those who've never been to the UK its like a slightly more upmarket version of Ikea. @HabitatUK turned up on Twitter a couple of days ago, and decided to use trending topic #hashtags at the start of their tweets to get noticed. They used ones that had absolutely nothing to do with furniture, decorating, or shopping, but obviously the top hashtags for Thursday evening AEST such as #iPhone #mms #Apple and even Australia's Masterchef contestant who got voted off #Poh. I found these on Twitter Search:
Just to really add insult to injury, HabitatUK even used an Iranian election hashtag, and threw one in for True Blood fans too, both trying to get people to signup to a database.
I've written about how easy it is to make a mess of hashtags on Twitter if you don't know what you're doing. Thanks to Twitter's immediacy and public transparency, you can be quickly picked up on spammy behaviour - and the Twitter community made their disappointment clear to @HabitatUK.
Here are some of the more polite, yet dismayed responses:
@HabitatUKs response to all of this? They deleted their offending tweets, and replaced them a couple of hours ago with some generic product and sales oriented tweets with links to various web pages.
Thanks to the wonderful caching qualities of Twitter Search, the offensive tweets live on long enough to capture the evidence, but regardless of whether deleted or not, the damage to the brand has been done. The response tweets and the retweets will live on long after their offensive hashtag spam effort.
So what could HabitatUK have done instead?
- Individually @replied everyone who complained to them publicly, and apologised for the spammy behaviour
- Apologised in public. They could have sent out generic tweets to say sorry for not knowing what they were doing when they hijacked the trending hashtags for their marketing tweets
- Given Twitter followers a special offer discount voucher that could be redeemed via the web.
- Asked Twitter followers what kind of information/offers HabitatUK could offer, that would give value and build interest.
- Its ok to fail. Do it quickly and apologise publicly. People are a lot more forgiving when you admit to your mistakes rather than deny any wrongdoing.
The way the @HabitatUK page looks now, is typical of a traditional, push marketing, corporate PR approach. Admit nothing, aplogise for nothing, do not engage in conversation, advertise, advertise, advertise. You have to wonder why they're even bothering being on Twitter in the first place.UPDATE: Habitat UK have apologised, posted here
Link to original post