HTC Singapore’s Facebook Fan page has been drawing some major flak lately. Business tend to forget the social media is not just a means of marketing their wares but also a personal and direct channel to engage their customers.
HTC has been neglecting questions from fans about issues and problems with their phone, creating an impression that the brand was ignoring it’s fan base while still posting updates on its latest launches and promotions. Thankfully, they didn’t make the same mistakes that Nestle did during the whole Greenpeace saga with Kit Kat by deleting negative comments and feedback.
The funniest thing happened on Monday when they posted a message saying that they would no longer be supporting the page (i.e. answering questions, customer service etc) but still asking fans to look out for updates and promotions. And then they went to disable the update bar, disallowing fans to post things on the fan page wall.
As you can see from the image below, this wasn’t exactly a smart move. It might appear that HTC outsourced the management of this page to some social marketing agency to handle and perhaps their contract was up or they just didn’t have the resources to handle the large influx of comments and questions.
In any case, the lesson here is that any company looking to go into social media must be prepared to see it through. Doing it for the sake of just that will lead to more bad than good.
The thing with social media as compared to other digital campaigns is that it requires a huge amount of resource to manage and maintain and your customers expect to be able to communicate directly with your brand and get answers. You can’t just decide that you want to have a fan page so that you can push out marketing messages and promotions just like an eDM. It doesn’t work that way because the analogy is that now, the customer has a way to reply to you on a very public forum. And being able to handle these engagements in the appropriate manner is what helps drive brand advocacy and triggers the positive outcomes that would ultimately help you acheive your actual business objectives.