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Making negative WOM work for you...?

by Molly Flatt on 04 March 2009

I discussed the benefits of Skittles’s new social home page on Monday. But the risk they ran by highlighting brand conversation on Twitter, where they have no moderation rights, has become the greatest talking point; the pile up of competitors, spammers and general pranksters skewing the WOM proved just too much to bear.

So it’s interesting to see a brand turn the Skittles model on its head, by tapping into negative word of mouth in a positive way. Online accounting service LessAccounting have set up We All Hate Quickbooks, a feed aggregating conversation about their rival which ‘inspired them to develop’ their own, better platform. Warm and fuzzy inclusive social brand positioning? No. Ruthlessly clever, effective and downright irresistable use of social media? Absolutely…

But the feed doesn’t fit with the actual Twitter feed, so is there a certain amount of engineering going on here? Are these all genuine consumers? It just goes to show that either way, Twitter can be a dangerous and not entirely trustworthy tool for companies to use for their own ends…

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  • Mike Davison

    As a follow up, we’ve been musing why the feed does not appear in time order. This is the default for any use of the Twitter API I’ve seen. If you use the Twitter search facility you get a different (ordered) set of results coming through.

    Link to results using ‘Quickbooks’ as search term.

    On a quick inspection (no conspiracy theory volunteered) they don’t look quite so negative. So the question is, what are they pulling in exactly?