Tuesday, August 24, 2010
At the risk of being another social media case study, here’s another social media case study, albeit a small but relevant one. So Dunkin’ Donuts got hit with spam today on Facebook, and while it points out how any brand can be hostage to the net—it also shows brands and agencies still need a lot of help in the space.
Basically, spammers flooded their Facebook page throughout the day with adult links and images which, once removed, keep showing up even as I write this. (Here’s what some of it looked like from earlier, and here’s from less than 40 minutes ago.) OMG, porn spam! Will the world come to an end over this? No. Tomorrow, the sun will rise, and the good Lord willing, crullers will still be made.
But what this points out are two things that are inextricably linked when it comes to social media: The speed with which brands and agencies need to respond and their overall competence.
The original spam posts in question were up for nearly 12 hours before they did anything about it, let alone acknowledge it. This is the generic apology now being posted in response to *concerned* citizens in spite of the new spam:
“Thanks for your concern. We’re responsible for protecting the integrity of this community and take this very seriously. In accordance with DD Facebook Etiquette, all of these posts have been removed, flagged and banned. Any future posts of this nature will also be dealt with accordingly. We’ve always tried to keep our Facebook page open for fans to share and post links, pics and videos. Unfortunately, there will inevitably be a few individuals who abuse this. But rest assured that we’re on top of this and will always do everything in our power to keep this type of content off our fan page.
“Take this very seriously” and “we’re on top of this” ring somewhat hollow. There is simply no excuse for a major brand these days to be unaware of something offensive on their social network for that length of time.
I know who posts stuff here or responds on Twitter or wherever else I am at a moment’s notice. When I ran an online community of raving Buffalo Bills’ fans out for blood after a loss (of which there were many of both), it was the same thing: monitor it all constantly before things get out of hand. We’re aware of who says what about all of Humongo’s clients with a zero-tolerance for assholes policy.
I’m willing to say that up to the minute vigilance is a hard standard to maintain because not everyone is that anal. 12 hours though?
If it sounds like I’m being a jerk here, sorry, but brands and agencies now dictate very specific requirements of potential employees in the social media space; I highlight their collective help wanted ads here all the time. Many want someone to be their end-all, be-all *Director of Social Media/digital operations (replete with MBA of course), as well as being able to handle whatever else their IT department won’t touch. Still other brands do the opposite and look for an intern who may or may not have a year’s worth of relevant experience.
You can’t however, hold candidates up to some unattainable level of scrutiny when hiring for social media, then allow rookie mistakes like this to happen. Was it an intern at the brand (or agency), not sure, but if it was under the watch of a social media director, that’s even worse.
I’m not saying someone should be fired over it, but thanks to stuff like this, the list of social media malpractice cases gets bigger by the day.
Spam happens—it’s happened here—but you need to be aware of an attack immediately, let alone acknowledge it. From another perspective, if as DD indicates they’re the ones responsible, the brand’s agency still has to have the back of the client. That means at the very least, an intern who does nothing but monitor every place they have an online presence for exactly this kind of stuff happening. Regardless, some brands still don’t treat the net like it’s a 24/7 deal.
Otherwise, as an agency, if you can’t even deal with simple things like porn spam, how can you be trusted with larger social media initiatives?
*Disclaimer: I’ve messed up before. Yes! Can you believe it, I’m human.
Posted 5:44 PM