Analyzing Online Consumer Reaction to 3 Major Product Recalls in February 2014

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Published on March 10, 2014

Author: edmundwong

Source: slideshare.net

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February was a busy month for major product recalls. Let's look at how the web and social media responded to 3 different companies in 3 different industries that announced major recalls. The goal is to see if there were any similarities and differences based on how it was handled in those critical first 7 days.

Read the full write-up on my Strategydude.com blog:
http://goo.gl/G9PWaI

Read the full write-up on my Strategydude.com blog: http://goo.gl/G9PWaI By Edmund Wong © 2014 Edmund Wong

3 Major Product Recalls • Feb 13th – GM ignition switch recall • Feb 19th – FreeStyle/Omnipod • Feb 20th – Fitbit Force recall © 2014 Edmund Wong

• How did word spread across the Internet? • Were there any differences or similarities? © 2014 Edmund Wong

Can you match the brands with the conversation distributions by media type below? (A) (B) Forums 4% (C) Blogs 4% Blogs 3% Other 5% Facebook 23% Other 35% Forums 23% Facebook 44% Blogs 11% Twitter 65% Facebook Twitter Facebook 38% Twitter 33% Forums Twitter 6% 4% © 2014 Edmund Wong Other 2% Forums Blogs Other

Mainstream Media (listed as Other) was the original catalyst (e.g., Automotive News, USA Today). Not surprising given the auto industry is over a hundred years old and has very well established media coverage from journalists, as well as bloggers. Then it spread on Facebook within 24 hours. 450 (A) 400 350 300 Other 35% 250 Facebook 44% 200 150 Blogs 11% 100 50 0 Th 2/13 Forums Twitter 6% 4% F 2/14 Sa 2/15 Facebook © 2014 Edmund Wong Su 2/16 Twitter M 2/17 Forums Tu 2/18 Blogs Other W 2/19 Th 2/20

@GMCustomerSvc Began to assist users © 2014 Edmund Wong

@GM Corporate Twitter makes no mention of recall © 2014 Edmund Wong

@ChevyCustCare Was dealing with other issues and not much about ignition switch recall © 2014 Edmund Wong

Twitter was the dominant media channel for the recall, which was first announced on the company’s blog by the CEO, and WSJ was the first major publication to break the news. But it was Fitbit’s Customer Support team on Twitter (@FitbitSupport) that started to @reply to users immediately the next morning once the CEO acknowledged the rash concern and issued a voluntary recall. This integrated approach likely helped minimize online backlash as conversations tapered off quickly by end of week. (B) 3000 Blogs Forums 3% 4% Other 5% 2500 Facebook 23% 2000 1500 1000 Twitter 65% 500 0 F 2/21 Facebook Sa 2/22 Su 2/23 Facebook © 2014 Edmund Wong M 2/24 Twitter Tu 2/25 Forums Blogs W 2/26 Other Th 2/27 F 2/28 Twitter Forums Blogs Other

Fitbit.com/ForceSupport © 2014 Edmund Wong

Fitbit Website © 2014 Edmund Wong

@FitbitSupport • Has 13K followers • Until CEO posted on corporate blog about the recall, Fitbit Support didn’t acknowledge the rash issue. • Then on 2/21, this Twitter account leaped into action and began to respond to individuals, driving them to the blog post for answers • By having a separate Fitbit Support Twitter handle, recall conversations were contained here and the corporate Fitbit Twitter account was kept out of it (see next page) © 2014 Edmund Wong

@Fitbit • 77K followers • Surprisingly no mention of recall and not responding to users • Smart to contain recall support issues to other @FitbitSupport account © 2014 Edmund Wong

Facebook and Twitter took off first, then forums led to more discussions among patients who were asking the community questions as the companies involved were not engaging or sharing info online. Then after the weekend, users went online again acknowledging receipt of mailed letters finally and complaining of long hold times at the call center. (C) 80 Blogs 4% 70 Other 2% 60 50 Forums 23% 40 Facebook 38% 30 20 Twitter 33% 10 0 W 2/19 Th 2/20 F 2/21 Facebook © 2014 Edmund Wong Sa 2/22 Twitter Su 2/23 Forums M 2/24 Blogs Other Tu 2/25 W 2/26

Takeaways • It's generally true that Facebook and Twitter is like gasoline on fire. And brands need to be ready to respond in those channels. • No one common pattern for how major recalls propagates online • Depends a lot on the industry, the brand's online presence, and an integrated online and offline communication strategy • Overall, Fitbit was the best of the 3 companies in managing the recall • Fitbit had all the info consumers needed online when the recall was announced and @FitbitSupport engaged concerned customers © 2014 Edmund Wong

Read the full write-up on my Strategydude.com blog: http://goo.gl/G9PWaI © 2014 Edmund Wong

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