• Michael Weeding

Consumer Social Media Responsibility, where does it start but more importantly where does it finish?


It was a story made for social media, a mother selling her daughters One Direction tickets on eBay. Although it was not the action of selling the tickets that created the hype, it was the commentary around the reason for the sale with Bek Piscioneri unleashing a tirade on eBay describing how her daughter’s behaviour had cost her and her bitchy little friends the chance to see their idols in concert.

The commentary that extended well beyond the Internet discussed whether or not the action of the mother was appropriate.

The truth that was later revealed was the story was completely made up, a marketing ploy to create cut through in an attempt to sell the tickets and make her money back.

So the lesson here is that it is not just brands that need to mindfully manage their engagements across the Internet but consumers need to tread very carefully as well. So while this is an extreme reaction to what could be describe as a clever marketing strategy the question is “why should an individual be concerned about how they use social media?”

The most discussed is that your social footprint can reveal a lot about you that future employers can use to determine whether or not you will be appropriate for the organisation. But I believe it has the potential to go way beyond this.

We all know there is a huge amount of data generated by consumer’s social media engagements that is being offered to brands that allow them to target potential customers. This can be used not just to determine who to target but can also be used to determine what offer will be targeted, and this information is going to become richer and richer as more data becomes available in the future.

So the brief to exclude whingers or social trouble makers from any form of advertising is not as far away as you may think, in fact it would be safe to say it would be happening right now. Most brands value constructive feedback but the cost to the organisation of managing a serial whinger in most cases would far outweigh the financial benefits. So to be able to exclude social whingers from actually becoming customers could be quite attractive and a strategy that I believe many brands will consider adopting in the future.

So as a consumer while you may think that you tirade about the bad experience you may have is your social media right as a citizen of the global Internet community, you may also want to be careful your engagements are viewed as constructive feedback not just serial whinging. If so, this may have consequences that you have never considered.

So in the end your consumer social media responsibility should start and finish with balanced truthful engagements. While it is important as a responsible social media citizen to promote bad experiences to your social network you may also want to think about also promoting the good experiences as well. Who knows how this may benefit you in the future?

#SocialMedia