General, Tutorials & Tips

Manga UK teaches us how to not use Twitter

When people ask me how to promote their company, I tell them that they should be on Twitter. I then caution them that they should not use Twitter if they don’t know how to use it right. Your social media presence can easily lose sales for you and damage your reputation if you do it wrong.

Today @MangaUK did just that in a conversation with @NorthStarBlog. I had to take this screenshot because I was so blown away by what I saw:

It doesn’t matter what @NorthStarBlog was saying – it is never a good idea to get into a personal squabble with a reader or customer when you are representing a service-driven company. Have people said things to me that I disagree with or criticized me unfairly? Of course they have! I have never – not once – taken a rude tone with anyone. The “worst” I have ever said is, “I’m sorry you feel that way. What can we do to make it better?”

Why do I handle disputes gently? 9 times out of 10 a customer will realize that when you care about what they are saying, they should care about you and support you. This is Psychology 101. If you challenge them and start arguing it just makes the company look bad and inspires them to not buy from you even more. You’ll catch more flies with honey. You don’t like it when people are rude to you – they don’t like it when you are rude to them.

No customer will interpret negativity as “Wow these people really care about my business.” Negativity is interpreted as, “WTF jerk”. Back in the day, many people went out of their way to download Metallica’s albums even if they didn’t like Metallica because they thought they were jerks.

Positive conversation is the foundation of the customer-company relationship on social media. If you have something negative to say – imagine the outcome after you’ve said it. Will it make things better? Will it inspire people to buy from you or support you? Will it inspire people to not pay you and download things because you are a jerk?

The other reason gentle, positive conversation is better is because there is a margin for error. In the case above, apparently the person wasn’t even referring to @MangaUK:

At least @MangaUK apologized? Oh wait no he freaked out later on @NorthStarBlog in his Twitter stream on the guy and then:

I can answer the above question – There is a difference between gentle correction and being just plain rude. MangaUK was just plain rude here.

Then he unfollowed the @NorthStarBlog due to his use of profanity that was brought upon by @MangaUK’s rudeness. @MangaUK then seemed to be trying to get him to beg to be re-followed?

Manga and comics (my industry) isn’t essential for people to eat and sleep. In fact, it’s hard for many companies to stay in business because the economy is so bad. I hope that @MangaUK realizes how bad this makes his or her company look before they have no customers left.



3 Comments on “Manga UK teaches us how to not use Twitter

  1. I can’t see how advocating two-faced manipulation to fool people into believing you care, can be the right way to act.

    Ok, it was untoward, but it seems a pretty honest apology was given by MangaUK, one that has been accepted.

    These issues are the cancer at the heart of the film/anime industry. Passion is what we need, not deceit. Stand up for what you believe and protect the product and creative souls you represent.

    1. Hi,
      Not sure if I’m interpreting what you’re saying correctly, but I wanted to note a few things:

      We’d never want to suggest that companies “fool” their customers that they care–in fact the idea is to actually care and realize that when people complain, they are really reaching out for help and that is an excellent opportunity to connect and make someone a supporter. Even harsh critics are an example of an opportunity, since most people don’t even bother to criticize things they don’t like.

      The idea that you need to “protect” your company is actually a bit of the problem in these situations. Protecting implies being oppositional, when the best thing to do is be collaborative–to see that your company and product are in fact connected to your readers/buyers/users and as such you need to work with them. When you come at it from a defense perspective you are making enemies, not fixing issues.

      In some cases criticism will be unfair, or unfixable. In those cases plainly stating the reasoning for your decisions works best. We all know you can’t scream down somebody into liking you, or changing their minds. So adding more anger to a situation never makes it good for you in the long run, and in the case sited here has actively made a reputation worse.

      As a side note–it appears that the apology was in fact not “accepted”, and didn’t seem very “honest”, but those are my opinions.

  2. I refer to an apology made by MangaUK on the northstarblog article comments. Seems pretty heartfelt.

    When an industry is being eaten alive by the very same people is seeks to entertain and serve then we all have a problem. Support the retailer, the label, and then the artist. Art of this kind is only possible if there is currency in it. We all have to live. Passions are high – the industry is dying here.

    I cannot fault your argument on the way of handling these things. Friend or foe, I pick friend, though even friends can have off days, and it’s opinion and flash-points that make an average day interesting! Hats off to MangaUK for wearing his heart on his sleeve and showing us a bit of passion, even though in this case slightly mis-directed.

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