What we marketers love about social media marketing is the immediate opportunities to connect with our customers. But the line of communication works both ways. When consumers are unhappy campers, the first they do is voice their grievances on sites like Twitter and Facebook. The New York Times is the latest brand to be on the receiving end of a Twitter attack from ticked off readers.
Things at the New York Times got messy yesterday when an accidental spam email wound up in the inboxes of 8 million subscribers. The solicitation message, which asked readers to reconsider their home delivery service, was originally intended for only a small group of subscribers. Recipients of the email took to Twitter to ponder if the New York Times had been hacked, while others hopped on the networking site to voice their displeasure at getting such a message. Soon the Times and the whole mess was a top trending topic and big news story.
Digital missteps like this one are pretty serious, so the interest was high yesterday to see how the company would rectify its mistake. The Times quickly responded to the tweets, assuring readers that the message was just spam and that it should be deleted. The tweets back and forth showed that the Times was listening to its following and responding to the issue with the latest developments. By the end of the day on Wednesday, the PR team from the Times had put out the Twitter fire and business went on as usual.
The fact is that technical screw ups and miscommunications are bound to happen. And people are bound to get upset about said screw ups. But there’s a proper way to handle them and the NYT, as far as we can tell, did just that. So, readers, share with us: Did you get one of those messages from the Times? Have you ever had a brand reach out to you on Twitter to fix a complaint? Let us know!