- It all started innocently enough...
- — Holland & Barrett (@holland_barrett)Fri, Jun 07 2013 16:29:13
- — Holland & Barrett (@holland_barrett)Mon, Jun 10 2013 14:49:13
- (Although whether one would be encouraged to buy medicine from anyone who talks about a "tummy" to anyone over 10 is another matter).
- — Guy Chapman (@SceptiGuy)Thu, Jun 13 2013 13:36:49#AskOurOwls Can you explain the difference between your description of homeopathy ( http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/categories.asp?cid=29 …pages/categ http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Homeopathy/Pages/Introduction.aspx …Conditions/Hom…)?
- — Jonathan Hartley (@JonHartleyInBSE)Fri, Jun 14 2013 18:43:06
- — Quackery Watchdog (@ofquack)Fri, Jun 14 2013 18:44:55
- — Andy Lewis (@lecanardnoir)Wed, Jun 12 2013 13:50:36
- Then Holland & Barrett started sending direct messages instead of replying to tweets as promised, but this was seen as an avoidance-technique by the audience. They also claimed they could fit more detail into a direct message response even though the text limit for a DMs is exactly the same as the one for normal tweets. And unless H&B were planning on following the tweeters back, direct messaging wouldn't be possible anyway...
- — Sean Kielthy (@LMKPartnership)Fri, Jun 14 2013 18:54:07
- — Dianthus Medical (@dianthusmed)Fri, Jun 14 2013 19:48:22I don't think I've ever seen a corporate social media campaign backfire quite as spectacularly as #AskOurOwls. Mind-blowing incompetence
- — Quackery Watchdog (@ofquack)Fri, Jun 14 2013 18:56:08Question Alert! #askourowls Is your cheque for OfQuack membership in the post? Because we don't seem to have received it yet. £45.
- — Chris Richardson (@christheneck)Fri, Jun 14 2013 18:45:52
- — Andy Lewis (@lecanardnoir)Thu, Jun 13 2013 20:10:11
- — Doc Jon in Notts (@JonInNotts)Thu, Jun 13 2013 13:40:27
- What should we learn from this? Well, first: social media is not a controlled announcement-based sales tool; it's not even a controlled conversation. You are gate-crashing into the world's largest pub and hoping that what you want to talk about engages your audience in the way you intended. For that to happen, you MUST do your research. (We didn't learn that homeophathy is quackery because we knew that already).
Homeopathy is a swearword on Twitter
How Holland & Barrett's Twitter campaign went horribly wrong. If they had researched Twitter trends first, they might have realised that there are quite a few vocal and active anti-quackery users keeping a watchful eye on the topic.