Social Media Success Story: Making Criticism Constructive

When we added the .XXX extension to our ever-expanding list of domains, we received a lot of criticism for reminding customers to register it defensively. Below are Tweets that exemplify some of the feelings about .XXX and the campaign to have businesses and institutions use it to defend their trademark. Their arguments are not without merit, which is something any social media manager and/or customer support person should note: never write off someone’s issue. To you it might not make sense. To them it could be the biggest deal in the world. (I think marriage helps with this type of empathy.)
I’ll go through some play-by-play to highlight what may have worked here. I say “may have” as results may vary.
So we got this Tweet:
Robb Fitzsimmons
@robbfitzsimmons Registrars like @namedotcom functionally blackmailing the internet with .xxx emails like this; tactic as gross as porn.
SLAM! That’s well said. @robbfitzsimmons used his 140 characters wisely and with a very sharp point. And anyone who can properly use a semicolon can be kind of intimidating. At this point I have two options:
1. Ignore
2. Kindly thank him for his feedback.
3. Do a little research and let him know that while our XXX email may have insulted his intelligence, we don’t think he’s dumb.So I go to his profile, a great place to find out a lot about someone.
social media success story
On his website I see he is no slouch. He’s associated with Harvard and MIT. This guy already knows that we hear him, now we need to let him know that we HEAR him.
@robbfitzsimmons Well said. We feel that if you’re going to get zinged by somebody that it’s best it’s someone from Harvard and/or MIT.
It’s easy to get mad at a website, but when you demonstrate that your company is made up of actual people who care, well then zing. You’ve made a valuable connection. Conversation ensues:
@namedotcom so, i think i need to be more fair. i’m a satisfied client, very happy with the service. just felt it was a bit opportunistic.
And when the anonymity of the Internet is blown away, you are left with real humans having real conversation.
@namedotcom PS if you would refrain from buying and posting porn to it as retaliation, that’d be appreciated. 🙂
@robbfitzsimmons No, you’re safe with us. And we appreciate the insightful comment. It’s a fine line keeping up with the ‘net & its content
@namedotcom agreed and will continue to turn to you guys for domains; i think you get it which is why i tweeted in the first place.
There is no tactic or trick here. There’s nothing at all cynical about Twitter conversations (actually, there can’t be or you’ll be sniffed out and ignored.) It’s simply about paying attention to people. HINT: If someone has a Twitter or Facebook account there’s a good chance they don’t mind attention.  Also important is getting everyone in the building to understand why the company is about to embark on something, and then making sure they are informed. XXX was not without its controversy within the office, and those discussions helped to hone the office policy as to why we decided to market it.
With that kind of confidence, you can converse like a normal human who has nothing to hide…because you don’t.
Thanks for reading this and, as always, remember social media is a great tool, but please don’t be one.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 5:48 am April 4, 2013

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