When corporations, small businesses and non-profits build their social media engagement platforms they are finding the need to be aware of the feedback loop this creates with their followers and fans. The key word in social media is ‘social’ and as companies seek to get closer to their base they need to be prepared to respond. Quickly.
Case in point.
Target’s page on Facebook has over 1.4 million ‘likers’. Target uses this interaction to sell product and start discussions. Usually, these discussions center on how much ‘likers’, well, like Target.
However, a brand the size of Target has to expect some bad with the good and just last week they got hit with some bad.
At the corporate level, Target decided to make a large contribution to Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. That is certainly their right. The problem – for Target – is that Mr. Emmer has been branded as an anti-gay politician. Even though the contribution was made through a legal PAC called Minnesota Forward, and Target is only one of many corporations involved, this led to some rather nasty postings on Target’s Facebook page – as you can see by this:
While this kind of response should have been no surprise to Target’s management team it is interesting to note that after almost a full day Target had not replied to ANY of these posts. Giving Target the benefit of the doubt here, perhaps they approached each poster individually and in private. Or, maybe they made a blanket press release defending/outlining this decision. Either way, to the million plus ‘likers’ it appears that Target is completely ignoring these posted complaints. It is difficult to believe that a company this size does not have staff dedicated to monitoring the conversations.
Yes, it is difficult to formulate a concise response to such anger. And, yes, starting an argument is not a wise strategy, either. But, saying nothing paints Target as a large, unfeeling, unhearing corporation. The complete antithesis of what social media is all about.
The point here is that as you begin your social media journey make sure responsiveness is part of your strategy. The more you appear to be listening to your likers or followers the more accessible you become. This helps build a deeper relationship.
Not to continue to pick on Target, but on the same page a liker asked how they go about getting photos via the Facebook page. After 24 hours – no response from Target.
Perception is reality and, fairly or not, the perception is that Target is not listening.
Social Media Specialist