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October 19, 2012


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abdullah alghadouni

brilliant food for thouhts

Joe Gill

People want to know if companies are even listening to their social media channels. Kudos to Thomas Cook for acting and thumbs down to Thomas Cook UK who dropped a major chance at great PR.

Joseph Ratliff

I personally don't know if I "fault" Thomas Cook UK for saying "no," and give them kudos for at least responding.

Yes, the PR opportunity would have been a match, but here's a scenario I'm pointing to (and I'm just playing Devil's advocate here)...

Because TC UK didn't take advantage of the PR opportunity in a way the public might not deem "acceptable," and if there is any negative fallout for TC UK as a result... is that right?

At least they did respond via the channel...right?

Perhaps TC UK had already spent their budget for PR and couldn't take advantage of the PR (it does require TC UK to pay for the trip)?

Is it right for the public, just because we have more and more access to businesses... is it right for us to make their decisions for them?

There is a line here where business decisions have to be made by the business, and not by the public...right?

Remember, I'm just playing advocate here. :)

David Meerman Scott

Joseph, you're right. Thomas Cook UK did respond. Good for them. But they did so in a corporate way rather than thinking though the social media possibilities around such an interesting situation.

Dragan Mestrovic

Hi David the domain http://lowcosttravel.com/ seems to be parked and a not active one.

Penny Haywood Calder

I like the term 'thoughtful' - a thoughtful person here in the UK would be regarded as considerate and caring in an almost old fashioned, but decent way. Hopefully the same associations are evoked in the US? Thoughtful is a great guiding star for communications, yet I wonder how many social media policies or customer care guidelines mention it?

Raúl Colón

As I search for companies named Raul Colon I have to wonder if other companies now will replicate that behavior.

On a more serious note. So many companies are so focused on themselves and promoting their stuff they clearly miss out on so much by not trying to show their communities and audience that they care.

The other company took a risk and it paid off! But most importantly you could see they where listening!

David Meerman Scott

Dragan - Thank you. My mistake. I corrected it.

Penny - Yes, same here in the US. That's my guide to if a person deserves a response.

Raul - Right you are. Most companies just talk about their own stuff.

Kristi Sanders

Great points. And it reminded me of what a UK maxipad company created in response to a snarky Facebook post they received. In case you haven't seen this video - it's exactly the kind of smart/funny response you recommend: http://jezebel.com/5952287/maxipad-company-replies-to-mans-facebook-rant-with-awe+inspiring-sarcasm

David Meerman Scott

Kristi -- LOVE IT. I had not seen that example before. Yes, that is exactly what I am talking about. Thanks so much for sharing.

Luke Faccini

Great article David. It's very clever marketing by LoCostHolidays, they deserve the results. It's an awesome case study for monitoring the competition!

Tom Borgman

In your response to Joseph, which I agree with, I think the main central point here is YES companies ARE forced to respond appropriately - in this case the manner you suggest - when/if THEY decide to play in the Socialsphere. They get all they deserve if they under-manage it. They shouldn't enter this space without that commitment. And of course, as soon as one says THAT, one can :-) project out to the ultimate end-game when the human species, being of herd mentality, might pile on a company, forcing them to (TC example) give out free tee shirts to ALL the Thomas Cooks of the world who might see that kindly and appropriate response. But then again, one could see THAT as a spontaneous club/affinity marketing kind of opportunity!

David Meerman Scott

Tom - If each person has on average 200 Facebook friends and if each person is likely to tell 25 people in person (plus any blogger or media interest), a t-shirt and a beer for every Thomas Cook in the world in order to get positive word-of-mouse is one heck of a lot cheaper than the traditional stuff like TV ads that so many companies spend money on.

Kevin Weaver

This was a great article. While I think it is important, and imperative, that companies regularly interact with their customers on social media platforms, couldn't something like this get a little out of control? If customers become accustomed to receiving free merchandise or services for simply me requesting something on a Facebook page, couldn't this have negative consequences for an organization? How does a company say "no" in a way that doesn't turn customers away? Sorry if this has already been brought up in the comments. I didn't see it anywhere.

David Meerman Scott

Kevin - yes of course. My point is the "thoughtful" aspect. Someone just demanding something for free should be ignored while someone who thoughtfully posts about their name being the same as the company's should be listened to. And always remember, that when something plays out in public (like this did) the public is watching. Yes, it is a new world with new rules.

Paul Stallard

Love it. If only my name was Jack Daniels.....

Long Beach PC Expert

Interesting article! And that term "Facebookjacking" seems really apt for these kinds of situation. Social media offers a huge opportunity for businesses to boost their sales and popularity. But it's also make or break, right? With just a like or a simple comment, it can make an impact to their marketing strategies. So it's better to be safe than sorry!

Gurdeep Sangha

Personally I believe Thomas Cook (the company) made a little bit of a PR disaster, whereas lowcostholidays.com played the situation to their advantage. With many forms of social media now available, companies are having to adapt to these new types of situations. Instead of sending a email, which can easily be ignored, an individual can post a message on a company's facebook site which has the potential to be seen by thousand. If the company chooses to ignore such messages, hundreds of others can post messages requesting the service to be offered. By this time it may be too little too late for the company.

Travis Birt

First time hearing this word Facebook jacking.. but others are doing jacking on facebook.

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