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Amazonfail and negative online sentiment

Social & Digital

Amazonfail and negative online sentiment


There seems to be a quite a bit of anger online regarding the glitch, hack or censorship that has happened to adult classed books on Amazon.com, and it seems that still yet to be a clear response from the company. Has the world’s so-called greatest customer service team at Amazon.com been burned at the stake for this?

The popular #amazonfail tag has been long used in tweets for various failures such as wrong book, poor customer service or issues with their online store. The increased use of the tag #amazonfail gathered quite a bit of pace in the last 24 hours with hundreds of blog posts, discussion groups, forums and news articles appearing. Twitter users seem to be the most active around the issue and mainstream media seem to have been slow off the mark, with an old media company The Seattle Times picking up the only new information.

Some of the blogs have taken quite a grudge against the company with encouragement to close accounts and move to specialists stores who actually respond to issues without generic emails. With online blog http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com generating some of the most controversial responses to the issue and a successful Googlebomb campaign around the key phrase Amazon Rank. The results show a simple text page with a definition inspired by Amazon.coms delisting of GLBTQ and erotic books.

The other interesting aspect is the significant generation of new keyword traffic around these related terms: Twitter, Amazon, failure, bezos. It takes a fair bit of interest to start to generate massive increases in new keyword traffic and to reach lower ranked blogs means people are searching for information and not just reading the first few results shown by Google.

The interesting thing is the source of many of these visitors I have been tracking within my own blog post regarding the issue of the company being burned at the stake in a witch hunt for the source of the problem. These are the referring traffic just from twitter:

They show that how easily a single tweet can be viewed from four different Twitter sources, and that is before examining if their follower retweets the information to their followers. This referring traffic does not include the extra links added to specific tweets in your timeline from blogs and news articles. Past tweets are beginning to show up quite high in Google results as they are often provide more relevant and fresh information than other sources such as newspapers or company blogs.

This is how easily a small omission or customer complaint can go viral and I think many companies will be scrambling to being monitoring their online channels. The #amazonfail channel has existed for quite some time, and is something that Amazon.com would have known about and should have been monitoring. People even had time to design a related logo, so now the issue has a brand developing and is not just going to go away.  

So if your company deals with customers at any level, you should be speaking with your marketing agency to see how they can help monitor your brand online. If you need to maintain high levels of customer service as part of a larger company you should be personally empowered to engage and encourage communication through company channels.


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