Confessions of a Social Media Complainer

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Feb 10, 2011 8:51:00 AM

Hi, my name is Brandon, and I gripe at companies via Twitter.

When I feel wronged, or like I'm not getting attention, I run to my 1200 followers and flame the crap out of the company responsible.

"(Insert company name here) is the worst! 4 hrs on hold only to be passed to 4 different reps and still not resolved!!!!"

When they wouldn't get back to me, I'd fire off another one. If they did get back to me, I'd rant @ that person.

Mad TweetEventually, usually quickly, most brands would capitulate and I'd get what I wanted. Then feel incredibly guilty.

I should know better. Having been the man behind the curtain for some of the biggest brands' social media entities, I know what it's like to deal with a random Joe going insane at my brand through constant rants in 140 character bursts.

I've woken up and logged in to one of my former brand's Facebook page only to find that it was hijacked by an angry mob of Mommy Bloggers, the most feared and influential demographic on the web today.

It sucks, because sometimes when they would yell at my brand, it felt like they were yelling at me, personally. I'd break into cold sweats and stay on my laptop all night, soothing egos and firing off angry missives at internal customer service resources to help get the issue resolved.

Sometimes you do what you can for the customer, treat them as fairly as you would any other, and the situation just won't be resolved (this is especially common if customer service isn't your primary function on social media). It's kind of like a bonfire that burns extremely bright for a while, then slowly fades into a pile of smoking ash. It won't last and you can only watch and wait.

People will do things through their online personas that they would never do in person, or even over the phone. It's what makes customer relations via social media a tricky minefield to tiptoe through. It's why, when we're able to resolve a customer issue, it's feels more like relief than it does a true victory.

As it is, people won't stop throwing fits online. And the best companies will continue to service them just like they would any other customer.

The result? Out of those dozens of interactions, at least some of them are going to feel your appreciation for them, and that earned customer loyalty is what makes it all worthwhile.

Keep up the good work, social media pros, and I promise to stop being "that guy."

Anyone else want to stand in front of the room and confess their misdeeds?

 New Call-to-action

Topics: What is Loyalty?, Viewpoints, consumer behavior, customer service, customer loyalty, social media

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding.

Engagement & Loyalty Tips Delivered to Your Inbox

inexpensive customer appreciation
New Call-to-action
ancillary revenue case studies