After being compared to Comcast, who up until recently was coined as lagging in the social media department, cell phone carrier AT&T are turning to a new strategy in social media with what they are calling the social-care team, that will put customers first and hopefully a calm in the ‘twit storm’ that follows its name...
Almost every day during the first half of 2010 #attfail and AT&T sucks were regular trending topics on Twitter.
The brand had originally used social media to forward its PR and marketing strategy, however quickly realized that without a customer care service in place - not many of their clientele were really listening.
ATT is learning. Their PR & Marketing strategy with social media is...cannot shout down this many unhappy customers they have created for this long.
Customers use social media to tell THEIR story of THEIR experience of your service. This story, THE CUSTOMER'S STORY is....the company's story (PR and marketing strategy for the agencies reading this post). It is always aligned. The company...creates and delivers the story. Customers merely share their experience of this story using social media.
Customers, individually, may have temporary interests in disparaging a brand. But, individually they cannot create the results where:
Almost every day during the first half of 2010 #attfail and "AT&T sucks" were regular trending topics on Twitter.
Nor can they generate this search result on Google for the term ATT Sucks:
That's a lot of individual customers whose story with ATT is not a happy story. And who are motivated to share it online. For everyone.
That's why ATT's social media PR & Marketing strategy isn't heard. It's completely at odds with what a LOT of ATT customers experience. Regularly. For a long time. No amount of PR lipstick can cover this pig.
Chris Brogan is quoted in this article. Chris is far smarter than I am at all this. And I'm reasonably confident his quote is out of context:
“I’m glad they [AT&T] are going to push forward,” said Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs. “They are a bit behind, like Comcast was. They’ve really let the media run the story for the longest time.”
I read, the media in this article on social media to be synonymous with social media.
I first read this quote as implying, possibly, that ATT is a victim of the media run wild.
That's not Chris's style. And it's also not the truth.
ATT for the longest time has chosen to invest in the experiences of their PR & Marketing departments, agencies and their budgets. That's why THEIR story of ATT is shared with such glowing terms.
And that's why their customers use social media to share THEIR story using different terms.
Given the results of ATT's investment priorities...has it been successful?
And if ATT's plans for social media customer care only goes as far as happy-talk platitudes of customer service...we care, we understand, we're sorry...with no real change in their policies and quality of service....I predict you'll see:
- #attfail and ATTSucks remain top trending topics on Twitter
- Google results for ATT Sucks will move towards the same number as Ashton Kutcher's followers on Twitter. (1 million+)