It is always interesting working in social media how cases sometimes just fall into your lap. I have made it a policy with my own work to try to focus on the positive side of things. The positive side of this is that I get an active case study to use with my clients of what NOT to do. To start with, we must remember the range of what social media entails, we are not talking just Facebook here. Communities and dialogs of all sorts, blogs, microblogs, social network sites, intranets, are only effective if we partake in the dialog with which they are designed for. When we invite dialog, we must take part in listening and responding, not just setting up a forum.

We have all had moments of frustration that involve the hardware and drivers of various gadgets and connections. This time, it was my HP printer, yet again. When it works, I love it. Unfortunately, more often than not, it doesn’t agree with me. I think I have removed and re-installed the printer drivers and software more times that I care to name. This time it was the printer cartridges, which is clearly where they make their money. After the printer demanded, yet again, to replace the ink cartridge that I recently replaced. Despite replacing it yet again, it continued to refuse printing for lack of yellow. The natural solution was go to the HP support site. To my grave disappointment I discovered a years worth of similar customer complaints over eight pages, without one single response from a HP support representative. The solution presented, by several of the customers, never buy another HP product and switch to Canon. Very sad indeed. This is exactly what NOT to do when your company decides to enter the dialog, be-it a forum, or other forms of social media.

Out of curiosity, I checked their Facebook presence. Many official sites, not so much activity and all employees (ie. no trust). I must say that I am not surprised given the start. So I shall tweet and maybe if I am feeling adequately irritated, I will start a Facebook fan page for fans of “HP doesn’t listen”. I could even invite all the poor victims of the support forum that had the same complain, after all united voices have greater impact.

I have now replaced my printer with a Canon, as I need to continue working, and the printing job cannot wait. My HP printer at home has been acting up too, so we shall see how long it takes to get to “adequately irritated” even for a patient person like myself. I am just one of many. Shall we practice a ferocious roar for disturbing our workflow, wasting our time and our money.

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Hewlett Packard, HP, social media case studies
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