Come on, you all knew this was coming.
It has not been a good few days for the global superstar. Where do we begin?
Then, over the weekend, a seemingly innocuous tweet kicked off a fracas after Beiber RT’d a (SHOCK HORROR) a non-fan for saying she liked his new album.
The Drum reports:
‘A succession of embittered fans jealous that their idol had deigned to retweet someone other than themselves who wasn’t a ‘real’ fan duly emerged with a series of hate filled tweets; including @julietesqueda who wrote: ‘Not really a fan of Justin Bieber but his acoustic album is really good!’’
But OK, let’s look at this properly – what can brands learn from this?
1. Think before you Tweet
A few years ago, an agency head got into trouble after being somewhat unkind about the city where his main client was based. A silly error and, looking back through the mist of social media evolution, it seems like it’s a mistake of days gone by. But still, the lesson stands true: think before you tweet and never, ever tweet angry.
2. Reward existing fans, as well as new ones
Advocacy is everything. And, as innocent as it is to celebrate the acquisition of a new fan, treating all others in the same way will reap the benefits in the long term. In short: existing customers matter. Many service providers have got into the habit of offering their latest and best promotions (or at least deals of equal value) to both sets of customers. In future, Bieber might do too.
Sidenote: see also the death of ‘Our 2000th follower wins X!’ competitions. If you see this in action, call it out! Why would anyone want to reward this brand new person when the 1999 have been supporting your growth along the way? It doesn’t make sense.
3. Know your audience
Whenever you kick off ANY kind of social media activity it is essential you understake a number of listening exercises to not only understand the current landscape of the market you’re working in but to also understand your audience. If Bieber had any insight – or had done any research – he would’ve known the following:
- Monday night is a school night yo!
- Travelling in (and out of) London late at night isn’t a fantastic experience (especially for young kids)
- If he didn’t hear the boos from his dressing room then he certainly should/could have read about their disappointment online
4. Under-promise, over-deliver
Keeping your brand promises my seem like an easy and obvious one but it’s amazing how often many different brands forget this (at the expense of their fans and consumers). If you’re going to promise an AMAZING concert to all of your LOVING fans at a specific time, then you better make sure it happens.
And if you don’t – if you over-promise and under-deliver -well, then you really need to –
5. Invest in a Crisis Comms plan
Plan for the worst. Know what to do when things go wrong. At the time of writing, the Biebmeister is still yet to address the wealth of disappointed fans that had to leave the O2 early last night. A good crisis comms plan would know what to do in this situation: be that have the man(?) himself apologise on stage or even consider refund the ticket money – there are many different ways he could make this situation better. 12hrs later: none are yet to appear.
Irrespective of your opinion on Bieber-mania, there are a many, many unhappy fans sitting down at school today who feel let down by their beloved idol.
Read over the above again and just think: could it happen to you?
Image via Adam Sundana on Flickr