Best Buy recently posted a seemingly innocent question on its Facebook page: “What do you think about offering Bestbuy.com in Spanish?” But it didn’t get the constructive dialogue that it was looking for. According to Tracy Benson, Best Buy’s senior director of interactive marketing and emerging media:
It was a landmine. There were hundreds of negative responses flowing in, people posting racist, rude comments
My take: Best Buy’s experience highlights key learnings about social media:
- Feedback doesn’t always reflect the actual voice of the customer.
- A loud minority can disrupt almost any conversation.
- If you initiate a conversation, you should have rules for terminating it.
- Being open and honest sometimes requires being firm and intolerant.
- Listening to feedback is only the first step in the “LIRM” process.
The bottom line: Don’t treat social media as a panacea