Unfortunately the commentators have a different take on your great idea – and accuse you of firstly not being social media experts and secondly of being lazy. It doesn’t help that you don’t even have a form or forum on your own site for people to use, and not did you even bother to write a blog post on your own site to gather responses. It really doesn’t help that have blog posts titled “In social media just like in PR, there’s no such thing as bad publicity” (there is) and “Social media marketing is not easy?!?!.”
It’s a bad situation made worse by the comments that appear in the StopPress article. Many of the people commenting really know what they are talking about, and as yet there has been no response from the Fast Forward agency who are doing the survey. Let’s have a quick look at some of the fall out and then ask – how could this be done better?
First the very amusing Batman used wonder-tonic to change the website to look like this. It was my first impression of FastForward:
Then some other commentators asked some questions – like Gerry Kookmeyer:
“Stoppress is an obvious vehicle to elicit response to marketing related surveys but I can’t believe a company that claims to be an expert in social media is actually asking us to come up with the questions. Is this a case of stupidity or laziness?”
and Dave didn’t like self-professed experts
“Unless you can show us REAL case studies of your own work – please don’t call yourselves experts.
We’ve all had enough of the direct marketers, copywriters, media planners and journos who setup a Twitter and become a ‘guru’.”
and Courtney Lambert (@cjlambert)
“I would also like readers to turn up to my work, do my job for me, and I get paid. In the spirit of sharing, I’ll tell you how I spent the money. Top five people ‘doing my job for me” get to do my job for me!”
There is plenty more – read the comments yourself.
I checked out the real Fast Forward site as well. The site was very basic and included a few charts – like this one, which has a catchy name:
The page on Social Media tools was out of date – with Bebo rating a mention, Twitter (100m users, 70k applications, over 1 billion tweets/month) getting short thrift and the largely irrelevant Second Life (maximum ever online 38,000, members 18m) gets good airplay. It’s hard to stay on top of social media as it moves so fast, but if you are going public to the community then you do need to make sure you are pitch perfect.
How to do it better
Fast Forward should have done three things – and still can:
1: Get out there and engage with the comment, twitter and blog streams. Try to turn the conversation around and let people understand that this is a genuine opportunity that can benefit them, that you are seeking help from experts and that you are not professing to know it all as they portray. Help them understand that they can take advantage of the free survey and get their questions in.
2: Create a comprehensive blog post on the Fast Forward blog site, and explain the survey goals, the sampling method, the target groups who will be surveyed, the questions that are currently in the instrument and how the results will be presented. Ask for feedback on the existing question set and the whole approach, and change it continuously in response. Post comments over at StopPress and other forums referring to the post.
3: Update and upgrade the Fast Forward site, firstly systematically and quickly bringing the content up to date. Fix the basic usability stuff – like linking to the main site from the blog – or just replace the entire site with a WordPress.com blog in the meantime, using pages for the main site (that’s all it is) and so forth. Get a designer to help you update the look and feel, or at least use a standard WordPress template, like Vigilance which you used for your blog. Progressively add functionality that will let you engage your clients and the community in a conversation, and above all keep the site up to date.