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Top Social Media #Fails in Asia - 2013
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Top Social Media #Fails in Asia - 2013


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A selection of the most spectacular meltdowns in social media by companies operating in Asia-Pacific during 2013.

A selection of the most spectacular meltdowns in social media by companies operating in Asia-Pacific during 2013.

Published in: Social Media, Business, Education
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  • 1. THE TOP 10 SOCIAL MEDIA #FAILS IN ASIA 2013 Charlie Pownall Hong Kong - December 2013
  • 2. What is a ‘social media #fail’? Here’s my take: • A public meltdown caused by an organisation’s poor or inappropriate use of social media • Weak or non-existent use of social media in the face of a crisis or external threat. The following incidents have been selected principally on account of the scale of their impact. They are listed in no particular order. Charlie Pownall
  • 3. 1 Lemp Brewpub ‘horrid’ customer service The #fail Gurgaon, India-based restaurant & pub responds furiously to a customer party’s complaint of ‘horrid’ food, service and sexual discrimination. One member of the party was subsequently threatened with a defamation action The impact Highly damaging national and international mainstream media coverage and online buzz, sharply lower rankings on review sites The lesson Product and customer service overhaul needed. Social media amplifies poor ‘real-world’ products, service and behaviour Get the story
  • 4. 2 Les Deux Garcons abuses customers The #fail Staff at Kuala Lumpur-based delicatessen get into aggressive altercations with customers on Facebook The impact Extensive negative domestic and international media coverage and online buzz; loss of sales The lesson The Customer is King; social customer service must be handled as carefully ‘traditional’ customer service Get the story Image credit: meimeichu
  • 5. 3 Samsung astroturfs HTC in Taiwan The #fail Korean smartphone manufacturer is discovered enlisting Taiwanese students to ramp its own products and slam those of competitor HTC anonymously The impact USD 340k fine and a mountain of local and international negative media coverage and online buzz The lesson Disclose your identity in social media. Trust is fickle and can be lost instantly Get the story
  • 6. 4 CCTV astroturfs Apple in China The #fail Having called out Apple on its consumer return policy on TV, an erroneous tweet suggests China’s state broadcaster is paying bloggers to further damage the firm The impact Significant domestic online scorn and negative international media coverage The lesson Disclose your identity in social media. Getting others to do your dirty work online can easily come undone Get the story Image credit: Beijing Cream
  • 7. 5 Scoot bungles app promotion The #fail A Facebook-based gaming promotion for Singapore budget airline Scoot’s first birthday suffered technical hitches. With some participants gaining preferential treatment, hundreds of participants took to Facebook to complain The impact Thousands of negative online comments and substantial trade and mainstream media coverage The lesson Make sure promotions work properly, and treat all participants as equals Get the story Image credit: Fashion Ferno
  • 8. 6 McDonald’s mismanages promotion The #fail McDonald’s Hello Kitty limited edition promotion in Singapore suffers a backlash as stocks run out, notably of the Singing Bone character, and profiteering ensues. McDonald’s subsequently failed to manage online customer frustrations effectively The impact Considerable negative online buzz and media coverage The lesson Manage customer expectations properly across all channels Get the story Image credit: The New Paper
  • 9. 7 Domino’s Pizza mishandles product launch The #fail Domino’s much hyped new ‘Game Changer’ product underwhelms Australians by proving to be little more than a set of new toppings. Domino’s appear to delete negative feedback on Facebook The impact Widespread local negative online and mainstream media coverage The lesson Make sure rhetoric matches reality. Don’t delete negative feedback Get the story
  • 10. 8 Jollibee recruitment boycott backfires The #fail Philippine fast food chain Jollibee’s launch in Singapore is marred by allegations of racial discrimination against Singaporeans by political blog TR Emeritus The impact The allegations are comprehensively dismantled by a local blogger, resulting in massive publicity for Jollibee and a launch that far exceeded its expectations The lesson Activists can only expect to win public support if they have their facts straight Get the story Image credit: Daniel Ang
  • 11. 9 Hoi Tin Tong fails to rebut allegation The #fail Hong Kong-based herbal medicine chain Hoi Tin Tong fails to respond quickly to an online video purporting to show mouldy jelly being prepared for sale, quickly followed by a study finding that its turtle jelly signature product has very little or no turtle shell The impact Badly damaged reputation and significant loss of sales. The company is now talking of shuttering stores The lesson Move fast to disprove allegations using all channels, including social media Get the story Image credit: South China Morning Post
  • 12. 10 Fonterra botches botulism scare response The #fail New Zealand diary firm Fonterra’s recall as a result of a botulism scare failed to involve any meaningful use of social media, not least in China where the firm has substantial business interests The impact Fast escalation of issue in multiple markets, with online questions and comments going unanswered and rumours unchallenged The lesson All organisations must be properly prepared for crises being played out on social media Get the story
  • 13. 6 ways to avoid a social media #fail 1. Fix the business problem 2. Deliver flawless customer experience 3. Handle issues and crises competently 4. Behave ethically online 5. Focus on relationships, not numbers 6. Realise social media is not a vacuum.
  • 15. CONNECT WITH ME: @cpownall