How Social Media Is Changing the World: #NBCFail

August 7, 2012 2:49 pm
The 2012 Olympic games have been the talk of the news since began. As expected, there has also been significant social media buzz. Though the Olympics provide plenty of opportunity for social media exposure, the company in the best position to do so, NBC, has largely failed so far. In fact, among Twitter’s trending topics (the top 10 talked about topics through the medium) was the hashtag “#NBCFail” due to the networks poor handling of the coverage.

NBC’s coverage is not much different than it was four years ago, which was received fairly well. That was their fatal problem. NBC failed to realize that the world of media has changed significantly in just four years. The world’s landscape has evolved, and what worked just four years ago doesn’t work as well today. Here are a few of the NBC mishaps which your company needs to understand to be successful in today’s world:
  1. Everyone now gets their news instantly.Twitter and Facebook have fundamentally changed the way that most people consume media. Though people still watch the news and read the paper (at least a digital one), most people hear about the news as it happens. When someone wins an event, people hear about it much quicker than they used to, and the news is almost impossible to hide from. NBC failed to understand this, and showed mostly tape delayed events, even when live options were available. Even with multiple channels, there were very few significant live events. This was one of the big complaints, prompting tweets like “While the Wall Street Journal gives us the news of tomorrow, NBC gives us the Olympic events of 10 years ago.” There is probably a creative solution that NBC could have utilized, but they went with the same approach that they’ve always taken.Lesson to be learned: Realize that social media is now a prime form of communication and that it brings news at incredible speeds. Pretending it doesn’t exist (or not realizing that it does) is only going to upset potential customers, or cause them to ignore you. Be conscious of how your customers may be using social media and how you need to adapt accordingly.
  2. The second mistake NBC made was lashing out against the audience. NBC’s chief of digital operations backed tweets such as this one:

    “+1 @jonathanwald the medal for most Olympic whining goes to everyone complaining about what happens every 4 yrs, tape delay @brianstelter”
    -Vivian Schiller (@VivianSchiller) July 29, 2012

    When things go poorly for a company, there are three options: fight back, stay silent, or make things right. Instead of fighting back, increasing animosity, and making things worse you now have a near perfect vehicle to attempt to make things right and create fans. Handling a PR disaster well can help turn the ship around. NBC’s representatives missed that opportunity.

    Lesson to be learned: When someone has an issue with your company, utilize the power of social media to help resolve it in a positive way. Social media is a powerful tool to both listen and converse. Use it to help your audience and do your best to fix their issues. And remember that sometimes people just want to feel like they’re heard.

  3. Every move you make is now magnified via social media.People talk just as much as they did before. The difference is that now when they talk thousands of people hear instead of ten. Word travels quickly. Your business may not be big enough to become a trending topic on Twitter, but you can bet that one customer’s experience in the social realm is told to a number exponentially higher. The beauty of this is that if you make a customer happy five hundred will hear about it instead of five.Lesson to be learned: Social media has leveled the playing field. The company with the most money no longer has the biggest megaphone. Individuals can now have nearly as broad of a reach as a broadcast network. This also means that small companies can have a tremendous reach, possibly even as big as a very large competitor. Get positive news out in the open.

We don’t live in the same world that we did years ago and that requires businesses adapting. Social media is a huge force changing the business landscape, and will continue to change it through the foreseeable future. Don’t jeopardize your company by simply ignoring this. Though NBC is in the spotlight now, this is something that’s important for every business to realize, no matter how big or small. Utilize social media to engage your audience, and realize the profound impact it is having on their lives. If you’re looking for help in navigating the world of social media, contact our social media experts to get started!

About The Author

Delia Team
We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!