There are a few things that irritate me more than people who choose to plainly ignore the rules and regulations set up by the very platforms we all use on an every day basis. I have noticed that brands, both big and small, tend to stray from the adherence to such rules. And it’s irritating me.
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Irritating me to such a point that I recently experienced what can only be considered as the lowest form of online abuse known to man — the under-the-counter-email — which basically involves a victimised brand manager taking offence to online allegations I made, of illegal online activity.
Now, an experienced internet or social media enthusiast would consider this trolling and I’ll address that in a second. Much to my dismay and awkwardness, in true Dave style — I found out that my current employer actually manages a part of the brand whose competition I slated. I know, right? I should totally get a written warning. I just had no idea we were involved in the brand whatsoever and to the social media manager who felt the full wrath of my Facebook Promotional Guideline reading skills, I apologise. But you’re the one that loses in the end.
Moving on, the issue that I have with this entire situation is that my query was not addressed. Since when has it been all right, for any brand, regardless of who’s commenting, to not address such a condemnation of said competition, avoid addressing the issue entirely and then raising the issue through an agency route instead of simply acting in best practice for the brand and addressing my query and statement?
Whinge. Whinge McWhingerson. Whinge Withaspoon. The Whingeness of Whingeloo. So, I might have over reacted and I could’ve done much better than simply trolling the page in public. Sure, I could’ve simply direct messaged the fan page and expressed my utter disgust in their lack of adherence to the newly formulated set of Competition Guidelines for Facebook. Oh… you didn’t know? Well, the rules have been lifted, but I won’t get into them as Memeburn’s already covered it, but what I will say is that brand managers need to stop this incessant need either throw the proverbial online book of rules at fans — regardless of who they may be — and simply abide by them, or don’t and run competitions and promotions like they always have.
The lifting of the rules has opened many gates for brands to increase engagement, capitalize on the need for instant gratification of fans and get back to rewarding their community for their time and commitment to the brand, but, those gates need to be entered with consideration, maturity and poise so that when some highly advanced super troll — like me — calls you out on your crap, you’re ready, not because you’re good at your job, simply because you read the rules.