Why Facebook is so difficult

For this assignment we were allowed to pick the subject ourselves granted that it fit within our curriculum. We took this opportunity to look closer at the growing trend of using Facebook for customer support, and it's something that has been adopted by a variety of different companies. As it turns out, it's a fantastic platform for providing support for questions that don't contain confidential information, and help guide the customers to the right place for questions that do.

We choose to look at SAS, CBB, Oiser, Telia Danmark, SEB and Danske Bank to get some variety. We also choose these companies because we wanted to be able to compare them, CBB to Oiser and SEB to Danske Bank, to see if we could figure out why some of them were more successful than others. CBB versus Oister turned out to be the most interesting comparison, they're both small cellphone carriers competing about being the cheapest and best solution for those who don't want to pay much for their cellphone.

It's really in this comparison between CBB and Oister we found out why Facebook is so difficult, and why social media in general doesn't fit into old marketing theories.

It's really in this comparison between CBB and Oister we found out why Facebook is so difficult, and why social media in general doesn't fit into old marketing theories. This is because on Facebook, it's not about pushing sales pitches and other well formulated marketing messages, it's about communication and creating a discussion with people. CBB's updates were largely the same as those presented on Oister's page, but for some reason, CBB's community responded much more positively to them than those from Oister. In terms of Facebook likes both companies had about the same amount, and Oister actually announce themselves as a support page while CBB doesn't.

So how come that CBB's Facebook is such a success, and when you enter the page you can feel it right away, while Oister's page is filled with negativity with barely any discussion going on? CBB is open and if you write a message to them, it shows up where everyone can see it. Despite the fact that CBB's Facebook page isn't declared to be a support page, people have started to use it that way and CBB has just embraced that. If you write a message to Oister is hidden, so there's no way to tell how quickly they respond or what they do with criticism, any discussion going on is hidden.

This has a huge effect on how customers see the company and at this point it doesn't even matter what Oister's intentions are, on Facebook there is no excuse not to keep the conversation open, regardless of how negative the comments might get. With this project we discovered just how uncomfortable it can be for a company to run a Facebook page. Customers are free to write whatever they want for everyone to see and you should under no circumstances hide that, instead you need to participate in the conversation and address any issues that are presented.

Facebook is about participating in the discussion that is already going on out there.

Any old marketing theory goes straight out the windows along with any traditional view of return of investment, and getting internet via the smartphone's wi-fi hotspot as CBB didn't enforce their data cap and the fact that 3G works just fine, when you're a student. Particularly when running a Facebook support page the adequate budget and amount of staff is one where every support case is accurately answered within 10 minutes of a question being posted during the "opening hours", and this is also not something to be stingy with either.