Progressive Social Media Fail
Posted on August 14, 2012 ยท Posted in Social Media

Okay internet marketers, time to do a little role play exercise. Imagine you are the head of social media for one of the nation’s largest insurance companies. A new blog post is going viral and it claims your company did everything imaginable not to honor a customer’s policy – to the point of defending the person that killed your policyholder in court.

Every hour thousands of tweets are being sent to your account telling you how disgusting your company is and questioning your morality. What do you do?

A) Start responding to individual tweets with a canned message
B) Write an even less compassionate justification for your company’s action and link it as part of the tweets in the first option
C) Write a compassionate statement that recognizes the victim’s pain and suffering but still puts forth your position and serves as a single point of reference for media / people looking for a response

Well Progressive Insurance decided to go with A and B and made an already poor situation worse by showing a lack of compassion. Furthermore a number of unnecessary follow up tweets were generated as a reaction to their canned response and to make things worse, Patton Oswalt and his 845k followers just got involved about 3 minutes ago.

Quick recap: Showing a complete lack of compassion is just as bad as completely ignoring the problem

Let’s see how they salvage things.