Here’s a great example of why, if you’re a large corporate, you should leave social media well alone if you don’t understand it. Last week National Australia Bank had the audacity to spam a number of AFL-related blogs to promote a new service. Now, comment spam is a sneaky little practice at the best of times, as I’ve discussed previously. But when a corporate behemoth that made an A$4.6 billion profit last year decides to intrude on a blogger’s patch and use it as a free marketing tool, that’s taking the proverbial.
There are a couple of things that are particularly galling about this episode:
- The bank’s PR consultancy showing a worrying lack of awareness about basic blogging etiquette. If consultancies are going to recommend dodgy practice like this to clients, it impacts negatively on the companies that do use social media transparently as a valid communications channel
- The complete lack of remorse shown by the bank. Ok, you’ve been rumbled, and the bloggers whose blogs you’ve hijacked are obviously peeved. Now, good ORM practice would recognise the need to post a genuine comment on those blogs admitting fault, apologising and perhaps offer some form of recompense (free AFL tickets, for example). But all the bank has done is prodded the hornet’s nest by denying any wrongdoing, which has, of course, encouraged bloggers to decry their behaviour, and thus spread negative comment about National Australia Bank online. Well done guys