Just before the Week Of Many Bank Holidays, Amazon Web Services’ EC2 hosting suffered failings which meant social media dashboard Hootsuite was out of action for around 15 hours – which meant a full day without possibly the most popular Twitter API available.
According to Hootsuite, they currently host over 3 million social networks and over 1 million updates a day – now that’s a lot of potentially frustrated users when the service went down!
So, what did Hootsuite do? Did they shout and scream with abhorrence at the servers that let them down? Did they point the finger of blame? Did they simply shrug their shoulders with a non-plussed “it wasn’t us”?
Impressively, no. What Hootsuite actually did was to keep their users up to date with problems via email so they knew what was happening on the day, answering their problems and questions with professionalism. Admirable, I’m sure you’ll agree, and certainly a behaviour to be learned from.
To add to this, they also sent out an email to all of their users following the event, linking to a blog about what happened and why and offering free credit by way of apology. And (not that we were too bothered in the first place) we’re all happy again.
And the point is?
Simple! I’ve always maintained that social media has pushed companies beyond the age of press releases and formally written statements and into the realms of real conversation where transparency and honesty are key. What the Hootsuite issue demonstrates is that companies can not only get through their problems but actually benefit from the personality it allows them to portray.
We all knew the issues weren’t down to Hootsuite itself. But their generosity of content and of credit highlights the benefit of giving something for nothing – and ensuring you continue to build your relationships and your brand.