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Cineworld indulges in childish insults

26 Apr

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Cinema brands get my goat. Why? Because they clearly don’t understand social media, but continue to put people in charge that either say too little or far too much – to the point where they insult their customers.

A few months ago I blogged about Odeon, which failed to respond to a Facebook status complaining about ticket prices. Hours became days and days became an entire weekend where nothing was done, allowing the post to gain momentum through more than 170,000 ‘likes’.

Now it’s Cineworld’s turn to commit social media suicide, although this time the brazen brand has no remorse. The tweets that you’re about to see are still on the company’s Twitter page.

Let’s start this story with a quiz. If a customer complained about costs to you on a social network would you:

A) Apologise that they feel that way and use a pre-approved policy statement to explain why costs have risen before directing them to special offers that you’re currently running etc

B) Ignore the statement, after all you’ve got so many other tweets to respond to

C) Antagonise your customer and explode into a flurry of insults and childish backchat

I’m sure you can guess by now that Cineworld took option ‘C’. The backchat included:

Well you ‘say’ we’re definitely going bust in 1-5 years. If you’re psychic can you tell me the lottery numbers.

For someone that doesn’t like talking to us, you’re certainly persistent. Excuse me I have homework to do :]

And my personal favourite:

Fine OK we’re just evil millionaires who are trying to destroy cinema, you’ve blown it wide open. Enjoy Odeon :]

Shocked? I’m guessing (and hoping) that this approach has lost Cineworld more than one customer since its 42,000 followers witnessed the feud with customer Alan Bishop.

But, what’s more frustrating about this story is that The Drum questioned whether brands should be engaging with Twitter trolls.

Let’s be clear – Alan is not a Twitter troll. He had an opinion which the company failed to recognise. Instead it was belittled and mocked in the public domain which won’t do Cineworld any favours. Perhaps the big bosses need to remind the social media managers that they’re being paid to have some manners.

Am I overreacting? Or should brands be sticking up for themselves like Cineworld? Let me know!

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My Little Mistake…by Burger King

10 Mar

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I choose my blog posts carefully and there’s some battles I just don’t gallop into – like the horsemeat scandal. But, the time has come for me to comment on Burger King.

The fast-food franchise is continuing to launch its kids meal toy giveaway this month – a My Little Pony.

I’m in full support of people not having to apologise for every little thing they say and do which might cause offence (apart from Helen Flanagan – she simply doesn’t think), but there’s times when you have to change tactic to avoid rocking the boat – especially when it recently capsized.

BK was one of the first brands to get caught up in the horsemeat by pledging to switch suppliers as a precautionary measure before admitting some of its burgers had been contaminated. This made lots of people angry. Then the business got hacked on Twitter and we all had a good laugh. It worked because it gained followers.

But, is this Europe-wide promotion undoing its recovery strategy? I think so. Although there’s nothing online to say that the UK is taking part (Germany is cited on the website), it will look foolish. And to those that really take notice, I expect they’ll rip BK to pieces for its brash insensitivity.

To handle this situation, BK has two options:

1) Say nothing and take the (expected) ridicule
2) Make a joke of it and use it to their advantage

Personally, I’d vote for the latter every time. It’s a proactive opportunity to show that the business has a sense of humour and, although it’s a risk, it’s one that could come off with great results

Let’s wait to see if anything happens in the UK.

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