The start of this year has brought us some memorable social media fails: Eurostar, #cashgordon and Nestle to name but a few. And how we relish kicking them when they’re down. Because:
They don’t know how to do it.
They don’t get it.
We would NEVER do that.
If you want a wonderful description of #cashgordon then have a read of this from the good folk at Made by Many. I particularly like the point that yes, the interweb will try and punk you. Because it can.
But aren’t we also getting a bit up our own arses on this? What if one of our own campaigns suffered a monumental fuck up? We are fallible. Yes, hard to believe I know. But it could happen. Would we take so much joy in our own #fail?
In the case of Nestle, the real issue was seemingly missed – especially on Twitter – by our own blinkered views. Although I’m in no way a hippy – I flaunted Earth hour this year by watching a Top Gear repeat with the lights on, phones charging, dishwasher on and many appliances on stand by – the poor gorillas and forest destruction got side-lined by our own glee at Nestle fucking up a Facebook response. I’m aware Nestle also has a long running war with NGOs after many an issue so anything they did was bound to wreak havoc regardless.
But all this smugness has another impact. Clients who are still reticent about entering into the social space are typically concerned about reputation or the notion of control. And this is still the majority no matter our own rhetoric on social media being HUGE. The #fail culture does little to overcome these barriers and we will be left with only the brave forging ahead which inhibits the growth and maturation of this exciting and game-changing space.
Perhaps if we were less concerned with our own reputations we would be sharing more #success rather than focussing on the #fail?