How not to use social media, learn from Vodafone. #fail

I have sent a friend request to Dhaval Valia. Despite 700 million people using Facebook, the chance of me bouncing in to Dhaval Valia are slim. But thanks to the lame social media strategy of Vodafone, I now know Mr. Valia.

Vodafone has sued Dhaval Valia for posting defamatory messages. The newspapers are littered with the legal gobbly-de-gook of the law suit and interpretations of what Vodafone thinks of Valia’s messages.

The actual Facebook wall post which started all of this :

From the picture above, the original post has 11 comments and 8 likes. In the social media world that’s normal. The news hasn’t reached a status where it can influence people. Vodafone should have known this. Apparently not. Vodafone did the unthinkable by sending a legal notice to Dhaval Valia. Oh! no it didn’t. Oh! yes it did. From then on, it is downward spiral for Vodafone, at least in this matter. Dhaval Valia has responded to the legal notice. The news is picked up by blogs, newspapers and TV channels. From the slight rant to trending news, it didn’t take long. The result :

#vodafone #socialmedia #fail

If Vodafone ignored the comment and went on with its business, I wouldn’t have known about Vodafone’s 3G nor would I know about its alleged poor connectivity. By not letting it go, Vodafone has turned this simple post into a mini uprising.

From its Hutch days Vodafone has run some brilliant advertising campaigns with the pugh to start with and took it to the next level with ZooZoo’s later. Suing customers for a private message on a social media site is not the brightest thing for Vodafone.

Social media is a double edged sword. People will ‘like’ you and dislike you. For the ‘likes’ a simple ‘thank you’ would do. For dislikes, a simple ‘add your expletive’ will not do. Ignoring it would be an appropriate choice. The best strategy to ‘dislike’ is to let it go.

PS : How Vodafone got access to Valia’s Facebook message still remains a mystery. In other news, Dhaval Valia has accepted my friend request.