How Blackberry’s Social Media Disaster Affected Its Fortunes
There is a very close correlation between social media success and a company’s performance. While analysts were busy throughout the year pointing out the benefits of social media marketing to businesses, businesses were busy making just the kind of mistakes which become marketing lessons to be avoided.
We will most probably remember 2011 as the year when some of the biggest brands blundered badly in social media. Business is complicated enough, however, for businesses to frequently get things wrong so why should social media draw so much of our attention? The reason lies in the way social media disrupts existing set ups and can overturn the status quo.
Disruptive technologies, by definition, provide a new way to do things rendering the traditional one, they are replacing, obsolete. When this happens those companies which do not want to be left behind rush to adopt the new way of doing business. While this is sound, in principle, the danger is that the change is applied in name only, leading to practices which pay lip service to what is new, while still adhering to the traditional way of doing things.
Case in point is Blackberry, RIM’s formerly iconic brand which only a few short months ago appeared to be firing on all cylinders as it took on the might of Apple, issued a Facebook app, put in place a Twitter team and opened two separate Twitter fronts.
The along came the widely covered and disastrously handled Blackberry outage where it became apparent that RIM was a company which had adopted the skin of social media practices but not the substance. The mishandling of RIM’s technical problems and understandable Blackberry customers’ outrage led to it to winning the top spot in the Social Media Disasters of 2011 list.Continued on the next page