How to avoid a Gaff by using Social Media

Imagine an unprecedented number of new visitors hitting your website.  Sounds great doesn’t it, but before you pat yourself on the back, isn’t that the sound of your website struggling under the weight of a whole army of new visitors.  What do you do when the bandwidth suddenly goes snap and all you have are irrate customers?

Yesterday Giff-Gaff, the mobile network provider (who piggy-back off of O2) failed.  Big fail, and none of their customers were able to use their network.  Pretty crippling.

So what did their customers do?  They all went onto the net to find out what the problem was.  And where did they head to?  To Giff-Gaff’s website of course.  And what happened?  Giff-Gaff’s site didn’t have enough bandwidth to cope with all these visitors.  So how do you think that made the already peeved Giff-Gaff customers?  Literally lost for words, because they had nowhere to voice their concerns and Giff-Gaff had no way to communicate what they were doing to resolve the issue.

Now you might think this is a one-off issue, but as one-off issues go it’s quite catastrophic, especially for a communications company.  What could they have done differently though.  Well, let’s think about it for a moment.  Who would have the bandwidth to cope with such an emergency?  I’m not talking about a hosting company here.  I’m talking about social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter.  They have huge bandwidth and have huge virtual footfalls of visitors to their sites every day.

If your bandwidth suddenly isn’t up to the job, because of negative issues that drive your customers to your site looking for a answers, or because of a positive marketing campaign, how will you handle the fall-out?  Wouldn’t it be best to have something in place, for that eventuality.  Make your presence on social media known to your customers.  Promote your Facebook and Twitter feeds now, before a disaster happens.  Communicate to your customers that they’ll always find you on there, and even direct them there for customers services, and make sure that you have someone monitoring those social media sites when the proverbial does hit the fan.

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