The Higher Purpose Of A Good Boycott.
In part 1, I chose two companies whose spokespeople/CEOs are idiotic jerks. The issue they are being jerks on AT THE MOMENT is Trump, of course, But they were jerks before and will be long after. The Original reason for boycotts should ALWAYS be something deeper than a current issue. In my case–it’s CUSTOMER SERVICE. Large companies have become complacent when it comes to treating all customers with equal levels of courtesy, and I for one am sick and tired of that trend.
In this part, we’ll look more closely at Grubhub FIRST, as getting local businesses to ditch and switch can be done without the political element. That’s very handy in liberal college towns like mine. Here is the tweet that got me after Grubhub:
The characterization of me didn’t bother me at all–since I KNOW it’s a lie. What offended me is that a CEO would casually tweet something so childish, petty, elitist and rude on social media. Sure, his customers probably skew that way. But that doesn’t mean they ALL vote uniformly leftist loon. Not only that, it likely characterizes a lot of the BUSINESS OWNERS THAT USE HIS SERVICE as ignorant male rednecks. As an urban, intelligent, FEMALE business owner whose other half also owns a business, I found this an unacceptable level of unprofessional behavior.
THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR DOES NOT BELONG IN BUSINESS. Over the years, we have worked with a LOT of people whose ideas are not in line with ours. It’s part of business, sometimes. And whatever our PRIVATE feelings, we have ALWAYS treated all of our customers the same–with courtesy and professionalism. THAT IS GOOD BUSINESS. THIS IS NOT.
Use The Lack Of Professionalism In Your Favor…
So far, I have gotten 8 businesses in my area to ditch this jerk. I didn’t do it as a Trump supporter. I did it as a business person and customer who finds unprofessional behavior unacceptable. Only 2 of those businesses were open Trump supporters. The rest were probably just pragmatic business people.
By approaching this boycott from the point of view of PROFESSIONALISM, I can give even the most liberal business owner a good reason to ditch and switch, without offending their leftist loon customers. Since I went to each meeting also armed with this yo-yo’s egregious email (which EVERY BUSINESS OWNER AGREED CREATED A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT, BTW), this tweet, and a list of competing companies in the area who had NOT shown such unprofessionalism (and their rate details), they had no solid reason to say NO. If they received complaints, they could point to the email, or the tweet, cite unprofessional behavior. Or, they could point out the new delivery services offered better, more professional services.
Maybelline Is A Long Term Proposition, As Is GrubHub.
Running an effective social media perception campaign requires patience and planning. With GrubHub, I send a daily reminder on Twitter and Facebook, asking BUSINESSES AND CUSTOMERS if they like knowing a company they work with is run by a jerk–but in more diplomatic terms.
With Maybelline, I do the same, and cite their complete failure to address customer concerns. Altering public perception takes TIME. With Maybelline, the best weapon is a combination of pictures and carefully worded comments, as mentioned in part 1. Employing software to clean up social media is extremely cost effective.
Once you have to assign HUMANS to monitor social media–the costs mount up rapidly. And the best way to make them dedicate people to their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages is to use positive language to say Negative things, and use Pictures–as software programs can’t easily identify or interpret pictures. Tagging the pictures with Positive tags like LOVING IT will further confuse automated efforts to clean up.
Using Your Social Media Effectively.
Here are few tips that will help effect public perception:
- Go the Selfie and Positively worded NEGATIVE sentiments on their social pages–daily. Change the messages and titles on pics so you’re less likely to get blocked immediately.
- When you buy new makeup, Show it off on your own social media pages and blogs, and if you see any coupons or deals on other companies–POST THEM for others, with comments about buying from businesses whose spokespeople aren’t bullies, or remarks about other companies taking the time to address customer concerns.
- When you buy new makeup, ALSO tag your posts to show on the social media of the store you bought it in. Make sure your message informs everyone you deliberate CHOSE a new brand, will NOT buy Maybelline, and you HOPE THE BUSINESS YOU BUY FROM RESPECTS YOUR CHOICES AND CONCERNS. This way, the retailer, be it a small local chain or a big chain, will see the kind of boycotter they consider a “real” threat to their bottom line.
- Ask your friends to do the same, and like and share such posts whenever you see them.
Two Types Of Boycott Participants–Be The Right Type!
Retail stores have been using psychographic segmentation for years now to learn about their customer base. And they know that boycott participants fall into two basic categories– We’ll call them Type B and Type A.
A Type B Boycott participant DOES NOT WORRY THEM VERY MUCH–these are the hotheads that spam their social media with badly written, abusive posts full of trigger words. Those posts will disappear as fast as they are made, and the person will be quickly blocked, if they use simple software.
They ALSO know the Type B’s will LOSE INTEREST long before they can do real damage in the rest of their customer base–once they are blocked, or they have moved on to another boycott.
Type A boycott participants are the real problem, and they make up a small percentage of the total boycott. BUT they have an magnified affect, because they use the techniques I laid out to continue costing the company money on their social media. And because the comments are thoughtful, NON-PARTISAN, and focus on neutral issues–OTHER CUSTOMERS who go to the social pages may be persuaded to look more deeply at the subject. SO WORD SPREADS.
They know the Type A will STILL be reminding everyone they know, at every opportunity, that there are valid non-partisan reasons to avoid the company. Type A’s will go out of their way, quietly, for months and months to introduce friends, family, blog subscribers, Facebook and Twitter followers to OTHER OPTIONS. Over time, the Type A Boycott will have a far greater impact per person than the type B initial reaction.
So a company like Grubhub or Maybelline does give some thought to the huge pile on at the START of a boycott by Type B people. But what they really watch for is the Type A boycott–because those cost money. Those are the ones that skew market share in ways that increase over time–because we who are Type A are listened to. We are the “voice of reason”, so to speak. So become a Type A.