By Peter K. Lam
I recently read a blog about how Honda’s Facebook fans reacted negatively to their new concept vehicle they are calling the Honda Accord Crosstour. Basically Honda release the images of the new vehicle expecting to get generally positive responses. Instead, the Facebook fans tore the vehicle a part and slammed it. The fans absolutely hated it.
This is the first time that I’ve heard about a business releasing information through a social network only to receive tremendous negative feedback. I’m sure other businesses have gotten into a similar situation but since it’s about Honda, of course there’d be a lot of buzz about it. The fans had absolutely nothing good to say. So how does does this impact Honda?
This must be a total nightmare of Honda. I’m sure they are used to receiving rave reviews about their vehicles so this backlash probably was unexpected but they’ve already released the information and the fans have spoken. At this point I’m not entirely sure what Honda can do to rectify the situation. Did they release the new vehicle information to a focus group first? How’d that group react? If they didn’t release it to a focus group they certainly should have. It would’ve prevent public humiliation via social networks. If the vehicle is not near finalization, Honda should really take this opportunity to ask the fans what they don’t like and hopefully be able to fix it before the car is put on the market for sale.
As I’ve said in the past, social networking has grown into a very powerful tool businesses can use to communicate to their customers. The reaction of the fans over this new vehicle should alert Honda that something is wrong with their product. Social networking has the ability to help business reach a wide audience but most only want that kind of coverage for positive news and not bad news. Because this information was release through Facebook, the news spread to the entire social network and people started to talk about it. I’m talking about this now because another blogger wrote about it and she was probably notified by one of Honda’s fans or she received the news thru a different medium of social networking. The lesson here is be careful of what gets posted online and also be prepared to deal with both positive and negative feedback because either could happen. The other thing is also to find any kind of useful information from this situation, good and bad, so that the problem hopefully won’t come up again.