Not Quite There Yet: UAE Brands on Social Media
After waiting for responses that never came, Eva Fernandes isn’t too impressed as she reveals the good, the bad and the ugly of social interaction among homegrown brands on Facebook.
October 16, 2011 4:47 by Eva Fernandes
If you are a reader of Kipp, then you are probably well acquainted with this site’s disdain for those that like to jump on the social media bandwagon. You know what I am talking about: a good four to five years after the explosion of social media and networking websites, brands still think it is pretty “hip” to send out a press release saying “X Company Has Gone Social- Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.” Pity that company or not, its marketing team is probably expecting a pat on the back, but all it is evokes from me is a shrug. I can’t help but wonder: “You mean, you haven’t had a “social” presence till now?”
But just getting social isn’t enough. If you want your company to be a social networking champion, you better be seriously networking and you better be genuinely social. Here in the Emirates, however, companies aren’t as socially-savvy as they should be: in fact it isn’t rare to find local brands that have a mere shell of a profile on a social networking website.
So, through, not so very scientific means, we decided to put our hypothesis to the test and find out just how socially active are brands here in the UAE. We limited experiment to Facebook, finding pages of a variety of different local brands: ranging from food, cupcakes, furniture and beauty salons. We posted a comment, a complaint or just an inquiry and then measured the rate of response and quality of responses. Because we knew that it might take some a tad longer than the others, we gave it a good two weeks.
Our findings? Well a little bit of good, a little bit of bad and of course some of the ugly.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, but we got a great response from the team at Cobone. They were the fastest to reply to our inquiries, replying in under 11 minutes. When pushed, Cobone sent us a link to look at more of what we were looking for. Their Facebook page had 9,886 likes at the time of publication.
Eva to Cobone: Planning on buying a smart phone soon, or should i wait for an excellent offer from cobone? Just asking, any super savers for smart phones in the cobone pipe line?
11 mins later: Cobone: Hi Eva! Stay tuned as we’ll try to introduce some great electronics deals, including smart phones!
Eva back to Cobone: the devil is in the details…could you elaborate?
15 mins later: Cobone: We’ll try our best to get smart phone deals to our customers in the near future. Meanwhile checkout our current electronics deals via this link
Now by comparison of the other brands, replying in under 11 minutes makes Cobone look like a Super Social Networker, but in real-time it isn’t the best a company can do. When companies say they are online, what they are really saying is that they are available 24/7. They are saying you must (and can) talk to us because we are extremely accessible and we want to talk right back to you, right now.
I am reminded of the first time we, at Kipp, decided to order a pizza from NKD Pizza-a quick “thank you” on the N_K_D Pizza wall got us a reply and recommendation within a minute. Now that is the kind of social media presence every company should aspire to. [Though, it must be said, that this time around when I was testing out our little theory I was a bit disappointed to get a response from NKD Pizza in nearly an hour.] N_K_D Pizza has 2,500 likes so far.
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