Oops... Another big brand slips up on social media | acidlabs Studios
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Oops… Another big brand slips up on social media

Oops… Another big brand slips up on social media

EDIT: My colleague and social network expert, Laurel Papworth, has published her own response.

My friend, Cheryl Gledhill, from molt:n has alerted me to another big business – National Australia Bank and their new UBank brand – who apparently hasn’t talked to a social media/social networking/communications specialist. Or at least one of the ones who will give them good advice.

That’s twice this year that NAB have crapped in their own nest on social media issues – we remember the AFL blogs thing, right? Take a look at Google if you don’t. That first link’s a doozy!

Who’s advising them, I wonder? Whoever it is needs a solid toe in the backside. And their contract terminated.

Cheryl’s commenter, Frank, obviously has no clue that the community can identify pretty accurately where he’s coming from, if not exactly who he might be.

UGC and social media efforts will be seen through by the community as manufactured and artificial if there’s even a sniff of fake about them. Big (or any) brand beware! It’s critical you talk to someone who understands this stuff. It doesn’t need to be me, but I’d be glad to help.

Stephen Collins
trib@acidlabs.org
No Comments
  • Laurel Papworth
    Posted at 15:11h, 14 October Reply

    … and NAB need some guidelines for internal social media policies. I’ve put a headings list on my blog for them, but seriously, whoever suggests a social media marketing campaign without managing the internal stuff first, is nutso.

    Am I right, or am I right, Tribilicious? 🙂

  • Stephen Collins
    Posted at 15:20h, 14 October Reply

    Laurel, or course you’re right. No rules makes it easy for the cowboys… Both advising and those sock puppeting as someone else…

    It really makes it so hard for the rest of use to be taken seriously.

  • Carlee Potter
    Posted at 01:27h, 15 October Reply

    Hey @trib, glad I came here for your p.o.v regarding NAB’s ‘misunderstanding of social media marketing’. Particularly due to this reference you made: “Big (or any) brand beware! It’s critical you talk to someone who understands this stuff.”
    It’s quite late, and I’m tired, so I hope you don’t mind a cut ‘n paste of the comment I left at Cheryl’s brilliantly crafted molt:n blog post, which (as of this very second) is still awaiting moderation:

    FROM MOLT:N COMMENTS:
    I would like to DOB MYSELF IN AS A FAKE EMAIL COMMENTER. View the shameful truth right here: http://tinyurl.com/54239e
    Everybody… Emma Shein does not exist, and I’ve even used “Ms Shein” to try and fuel the conversation at my Facebook Group; built to promote snobs.com.au. BECAUSE… I was “just trying to get the conversation going”.
    I’m openly admitting this here because I (personally) would never fake-comment for purposes of financial gain, self-promotion, fraud, or otherwise… [sudden thought occurrence; OMG. I hope creating a fake Facebook identity, ie. “Emma Shein” doesn’t count for fraud, does it!?]
    I sincerely hope not, but the possible crime I’ve committed only helps to reinforce the point of this comment (yes, I do have a point).
    Since the recent launch of my online magazine I now (proudly) consider myself part of the social media/network community and, like anyone else publishing whatever they’re passionate about online – inspiring interaction is key. And often the only way to do that (initially) is via demonstration; hence “Emma Shein” and “hopefulcustomer”.
    When I speak with potential readers or banner-ad clients who are total interweb virgins; I often encourage them to be a little crafty & get their friends/contacts to make comment below something I’ve posted at SNOBS, which can double as *subtle* promotion for their business/product/service.
    Clearly this is not putting any money in my pocket; I’m just trying to teach newcomers how to take advantage of digital media so they’ll get onboard, and get excited about the prospects like I did and… yes, hopefully then they’ll tell their friends – my traffic will increase – and it WILL result in money in moi pocket! Yeah – hopefully!
    SO HERE IS MY POINT: It doesn’t take long for (even the most pure of) internet virgins to cotton onto this cool, free, concept of comment-for-promotion. You may try to teach newcomers that it’s about (honestly) promoting your skills and experience to gain trust and reach a wider audience but if they’re digital-savvy enough to realise that – many will also quickly become “a Frank”.
    Call me cynical, but I believe everyone has a little ‘greed’ and ‘cheat’ programmed into them, and might slip up in this way if they’re not aware of stuff like the importance of sending a FAKE “post from *outside* their own network” [when I say ‘importance’ I do not condone, I’m just referring to a comment made in original molt:n post]. I also reckon there’s plenty of novice interwebers who, like me, have no idea what the word “troll” means.
    I’m asking about this because I would like further education. Not to cheat and deceive more myself, or to educate my readers/clients on how to do so… but I’d really like to post an article at my website about all this – to educate those who might be wishing to deceptively ‘fast-track’ their promotion.
    Cos, surely, if someone gets excited by social media marketing and pulls “a Frank” (and then gets busted) they’re likely to feel quite embarrassed, ashamed and SCARED of re-entering the digital media world. I’d rather for-warn ppl B4 they screw up like that – use the information as a tool to welcome them and educate them on how stuff “in here” works.. right?

  • FakeFrankatNAB
    Posted at 08:10h, 15 October Reply

    Finding good advice is harder than you think. Everyone I speak with is happy to kiss my ass if it means a juicier contract. Money talks, baby, but you are telling me I shouldn’t listen? I am going to have to read between the lines.

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  • Ivy clark
    Posted at 10:34h, 23 January Reply

    It’s easy for those of us aware of the risks and possibilities to criticize NAB or any other companies that have tripped into the same trap, but the trouble is Corporates don’t keep abreast of online and social media developments and tend to rely on their marketing/advertising agencies to advise them. This is good if the agencies have the domain knowledge and are not just trying to make a quick deal. Awareness has to spread beyond the web and social networking community. And until that happens, mishaps like NAB’s will still occur.

    • Stephen Collins
      Posted at 10:38h, 23 January Reply

      Ivy, I agree completely. And the mini-cyclone this week over the campaign for Witchery by Naked Comms is just another example. Great idea, arguably flawed execution (depending on your perspective on openness and honesty in social media).

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