Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brand Management in Facebook vs.Twitter

As a customer of any product/service, I might have some complaints. Some customers swallow them, some call the customer service and some make use of the emerging medium—social media.

In here I want to discuss social media and particularly on the differences between Facebook and Twitter in regards to brand management from a provider point of view and customer service from the customer point of view.

Any brand inevitably exists online. Whether it was its own choice by creating a website, managing social media and creating forums or beyond its control when users write about them in blogs, forums and again social media, it still exists online. That is of course if it was good/bad enough.

Having said that, I would like you to imagine how a company would react to an angry comment about its product on social media. Would it ignore it? Or would it attend to it? Again, this is assuming that this particular brand is managing its social media.

Based on my own experience, which of course might differ from any of you, the provider ignores negative comments on Facebook but attend to them on Twitter, which made me think why?

On the other hand, providers would reward positive comments on both Facebook and Twitter, which also made me think why?


Brand existence on Facebook first started as a Fan Page, meaning you will only ‘Like’ the page if you are ‘Fan’, hence the words ‘Fan’ and ‘Like’. Whenever, I have to comment on a post or write on the wall of a particular brand, I have to first ‘Like’ it. I want to know the news of this particular brand because “I like it”. By default, we most probably like the pages that we don’t hate. Common sense.

Another point is that the admin of any page could very easily remove comments from their page. So, if the admin sees a comment he/she didn’t like, he/she could easily delete it. The complaint is gone. No harm done. At least that is what they think—the brand image is sustained.


Twitter, on the other hand, doesn’t work that way. I don’t necessarily ‘follow’ a particular brand because “I like it”. I just follow it because I am interested to know what they are up to. Keeping an eye on them I might say. Of course, I could also be following them because I like them.

The beautiful thing about Twitter which I love is that unlike Facebook, my message will get there no matter what! I do not need to follow a particular brand to @mention them. I necessarily don’t need to follow them to write what I think about them using a #hashtag. And guess what? The brand provider cannot delete my comments. It is out of their control and if many others agree with me, they will retweet. The message will trend and ops they got screwed!

This just means one thing. It means for that particular brand to attend to my complaint as timely as possible because sustaining the image is out of their control in Twitter, unlike the friendly Facebook.

Positive feedback on Twitter could get retweeted and trended as well. Therefore, Twitter, in my opinion, is a fair trade for both customers and providers.

This brings me to the conclustion, as a customer if I want to complain, I would use Twitter. If I want to give some positive feedback, I would use either or both Facebook and Twitter. Brands, on the other hand, need to learn how to deal with consumer complaints fast and with value on both Facebook or Twitter. An angry customer is still an angry one whether or not his/her comment was deleted. 

Image Credits to: Stuart Miles

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