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Brands on Facebook: Who Do Shoppers Love and Hate?

There are a lot of things I love about Facebook: I can reconnect with long-lost friends, stay up to date on what’s happening in my current friends’ lives, and waste hours not really doing anything truly productive. It’s awesome! One thing that always intrigues me is the fact that some companies receive nothing but love from their customers on their walls, while others only receive complaints and grumbles.

If you’ve never noticed this before, then I’ve come prepared with some examples. We’ll start with the Negative Nellies out there, so we can end on a positive note!

Target

I don’t know why this company (which is a favorite among my fellow QLP Blog Squad members and myself) faces so much hate on their page. Here are two examples. The first one asks if their customers are ready for the Black Friday deals to start at midnight on Thanksgiving. Obviously from this clipping, some are excited while others were less than thrilled:

This next example proves that even if you think it’s a good idea to not allow customers to post on your page, they will make their voices heard. The question posed regards how far people would travel to get to a Target, but that’s not what some customers wanted to discuss:

The Children’s Place

After asking my Facebook friends if they’ve ever come across a company that has a lot of “hate” on their wall from customers, a friend immediately suggested the children’s clothing retailer, The Children’s Place. They have a little over 1 million fans, but a very poor response time to questions or concerns (in my opinion). In this first example a shopper is disappointed in the discounts they give away, but no one except other shoppers address the frustration:

The second example shows another customer actually suggesting another competitor for one shopper’s frustration. This not only makes The Children’s Place look like they don’t care what happens on their Facebook wall, but it also makes Lands End look pretty good if customers are suggesting them over another company.

Another company that I was shocked to include in this list was Starbucks, not only because they do have some haters from time to time, but also because of their lack of a social media voice.  They don’t seem to have a designated social media person to respond to questions, but rather their fans act as a “community” to answer individuals’ posts.

This shocked me given the size and revenue of their company. You’d think that Starbucks could have 3 or 4 people constantly looking at what their fans are saying and responding accordingly…

Okay, enough with the negativity. Let’s see the love on Facebook!

Potbelly Sandwich Works

This example is one of many that I saw on this popular sandwich company’s Facebook page. Just short and sweet and I’m sure makes their page administrator happy to see:

The next example shows that their social media coordinator quickly replies to what their fans are saying about new product offerings:

Having someone dedicated solely to your social media presence will pay off, because questions, concerns, and compliments can be responded back to in a timely manner instead of sitting on your page unanswered. This not only lets you customers know that you’re listening, but you also genuinely care about what they’re saying.

Nordstrom

I’m not a regular shopper at Nordstrom, or even their more affordable outlet, Nordstroms’ Rack. However, I’m so happy to see that their page administrators care about their customers’ issues and respond back in a timely manner with a working solution:

What I loved about this example is how the customer responded back to the Nordstrom social media administrator. They weren’t upset or angry, but instead made it known that this company does everything that they can to ensure the best customer service possible. Another example which shows how timely they are in responding to issues:

In the second example, you again see how responsive they are to customer issues and how the customer is so thankful. I loved their last comment, “This is the reason why I love Nordstrom!” Warm, fuzzy compliments like that always make me feel awesome, so I can only imagine that Lily (the social media administrator) also felt good reading it.

The exact reasons why people either leave hate or love on a company’s Facebook wall deserves a more in-depth analysis by a professional sociologist or psychologist. I can only tell you that what Target, The Children’s Place, and Starbucks are missing is a (or several) dedicated social media administrators to have more of a presence on their pages. Customers sometimes become frustrated and if there isn’t some forum where they can get their questions answered, then pretty soon they’ll go to great lengths to have their concerns addressed or shop elsewhere.

Have you ever come across any other brands on Facebook that see a lot of love or hate on their walls or comment sections? Does it change your opinion at all about the company? Sound off below!



Amy Swanson

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ content developers and social media coordinators. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can connect with Amy on

Comments

  1. Kelly

    Love this post Amy, it not only shows the value of posting your joys and concerns on Facebook but even more importantly the value of responding if you are the business owner or work for the company receiving the commentary. Great examples and a good lesson for everyone!

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks so much, Kelly! I was amazed at how mean people can be on a company’s Facebook wall, I’m sure they’re just frustrated but still… wow! I personally wouldn’t have the guts to do it, but to each their own.

  2. Stantz

    Thinkgeek.com is AMAZING on facebook! I saw someone ask about their individual order on the wall, and then they responded with the tracking number. I’ve never seen a company do that before with facebook. There’s also A LOT of love for them. Check it out, seriously.

    • Amy Swanson

      Before working here, I had never heard of Thinkgeek.com and now I’m obsessed. I’ll check their website about once a week to see if they’ve added anything new haha. It seems like the companies that want to remain ‘true to their roots’ are the best at their social media. Larger companies just don’t seem to “get it”.

  3. Rachel

    I think seeing love/hate on company Facebook walls can really affect how I perceive that brand — especially if I’m checking out the company for the first time. I’m already a Target shopper, for instance, so the negativity on their wall is disappointing but not a dealbreaker for me. But if I were looking around for children’s stores and saw a bunch of angry customers on the Children’s Place Facebook wall, that could definitely affect my decision on where to shop.

    I think some companies might assume that simply having a Facebook page is enough, when really, you need people to monitor it just like any other customer service platform. Another great post, Amy!

    • Amy Swanson

      I’m with you, Rachel. If I’ve never been to a store before and I see a bunch of negative comments on their Facebook wall, I get a bit nervous. However, if I already have an opinion about the place then seeing the comments doesn’t carry as much weight with me.

      I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment, “some companies might assume that simply having a Facebook page is enough, when really, you need people to monitor it just like any other customer service platform.” You can’t just publish stuff, walk away and hope for the best. Ugh, so frustrating!

  4. Jill Tooley

    Nordstrom is one of the best companies out there. Their customer satisfaction ratio is through the roof! Too bad I can’t afford to shop there too often… :(

    Stantz has a great point, Think Geek is pretty awesome on social media. They always respond to feedback and issues lightning fast, and they even followed me back on Twitter! I’ve never been dissatisfied with them and I’ve been ordering from there for years.

    Charming Charlie, another one of my favorite shops, is also excellent on social media. I posted on their page to tell them how much I loved their Geneva store as a first-time visitor, and they wrote me back to say thanks. Gotta love that! :)

    Nice post, Amy. It’s fun to see who’s on the good list versus the naughty list!

    • Amy Swanson

      I can’t decide if learning that Nordstrom has such a high level of customer satisfaction is surprising or not. I guess since I don’t shop there, it never crosses my mind to even consider them. However, it’s awesome to know that their prices are due to the high quality customer service they provide.

      I’ve been very good and haven’t bought anything on Thinkgeek.com, but every time I check it there’s something else I add to my cart haha.

      I love when I post something on a company’s wall and they sincerely say ‘thanks’ :) I try to do it as often as I can, if for no other reason to make the page administrator smile. I’ve commented on Dunkin’ Donuts’ wall a few times (shocking, i know) and Potbelly and each time I get a ‘thank you’. Such a warm and fuzzy feeling!

  5. Jen

    Amy you’re totally right about every company on FB needing a social medial admin. Everyone and their mothers use social media sites now so it’s important to make a good impression.

    Great post Amy!

    • Amy Swanson

      Exactly! You wouldn’t ignore someone’s complaint that they left in your suggestion box inside your store, why wouldn’t you address something on your Facebook wall that everyone and their brother can see? It doesn’t make sense to me whatsoever.

      Thanks, Jen!!

  6. Alex Brodsky

    The one issue I have with certain companies and their Facebook pages is when they’re too positive. This isn’t to say that I hate positive things like compliments, sunshine, or puppies. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my years in retail, it’s that you can never please EVERYBODY.

    Feel free to call me cynical if you’d like, but when I see a company with nothing but posts about how amazingly, super-fantastic awesome the company is, it makes me think they definitely have an administrator who is simply deleting all the negative feedback to hide it. I don’t feel like anything is taken care of, and it makes me suspicious about what they’re hiding.

    Basically, my thesis is: Don’t Trust Anybody!

    • Amy Swanson

      That’s an excellent point Alex, I guess I hadn’t thought of it before. I wouldn’t stop shopping with a company if I saw an occasional negative comment from time to time on their wall, like you said you can’t please everybody, but the company should leave them up and try to work with the customer.

      They could suggest asking the customer to email them directly or give them a phone number to call to keep the issue from growing on their wall. As a consumer I’d have more trust for a company if they owned up to their mistake(s) and tried to right it instead of just deleting it off their wall.

  7. Eric

    For as many companies there are that seem to take social media seriously, it baffles me a large corporation would do something like create a Facebook page for themselves, and either not bother to respond to posts/comments, or worse yet, not think it’s important to respond to them. Big kudos to Potbelly Sandwich Wks. for reciprocating with posts. Not only does it show they actually read what folks’re posting, but moreover, they care enough to let you know they’re reading them. Neat post, Amy!

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks, Eric :) Target and Starbucks really surprised me for making the ‘naughty’ list. These 2 companies are major Fortune 500 companies and yet they just throw content on their Facebook and walk away until the next time they need to throw more content on it. They could easily employ people to respond to questions/concerns/complaints/etc. Plus it would create jobs too (hint, hint, hint Mr. Schultz)

      I love Potbelly’s and I’ve posted on their wall once or twice if the service at my local shop was amazing or just the food in general was fantastic. I don’t honestly ever expect a ‘thank you’ but I always receive one. It’s cool to think that you’ve got a connection with such an awesome company, like I have a voice and they genuinely care to hear it.

  8. Joseph Giorgi

    Wow! Looks like Nordstrom is pretty proactive when it comes to social media. Competitors should probably take note — especially Target, by the looks of it. If there’s a company with enormous online potential, it’s Target. Consumer engagement is the name of the game, and they need to step theirs up.

    Great post, Amy.

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks, Joe! I completely agree with your statement, “Consumer engagement is the name of the game, and they need to step theirs up.” I honestly don’t know why you wouldn’t respond to someone if they posted on your wall. I hope they wouldn’t ignore someone standing right in front of them asking a question or voicing a concern, so why would you ignore it when all 7+ million fans can read it??

      I love Target and I will continue to spend my money there, but man, their social media department could use some help.

  9. Mandy Kilinskis

    I love the person that runs the Cheez-Its Facebook page. 99% of the fan posts are positive, but they respond to just about every post anyway. I mentioned how much I love the design of the box for their new Colby flavor (especially because they use my favorite font in it), and the person replied back saying that they were glad that they weren’t the only typography nerd. The fact that Cheez-Its knows how to make delicious crackers AND fonts makes me love them forever.

    I’m shocked that for so many Starbucks & Target junkies out there, there is so much hate on their fan pages! I mean, enough hate where people are going to “like” them and then send them hate. I wonder if they ended up calling the 800 number to complain as well or if they just left it on Facebook. Clearly Target isn’t listening on Facebook, so you might as well call someone that might listen.

    • Amy Swanson

      Cheez-Its is a great example of a company that’s doing it right on Facebook. I think the most successful companies on this social network are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously. They genuinely appreciate comments left from their fans, either positive or negative, but either way a response is made back. They know that without their fans they wouldn’t be where they are today. That seems to be why Cheez-Its, Potbelly’s, and Nordstroms rock at their social media so much.

      Target, Starbucks, and The Children’s Place have great products available, they just need to work on their social media involvement on Facebook… a lot.

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