Less of a Hoot

I’ve looked into HootSuite once or twice, to the extent that Google’s ad tentacles managed to shovel promotions for it into my Web surfing for several weeks, but I never quite bought the premise, or the package. And after hearing Mack Collier’s story, it’s just as well:

Now normally I hate these “give us a tweet and we’ll give you this” offers, but I do use and like HootSuite, and I have been curious about trying out HootSuite Pro, so I decided to send the tweet. And as promised, I immediately received my email telling me how to get my 60 days of HootSuitePro for free.

Whereupon they told him: it would be added onto his existing HootSuite Pro account — you know, the one he didn’t have yet.

Mack Collier says:

I see this sort of stunt all the time, and it doesn’t build brand loyalty, it builds brand distrust.

And it motivates customers to write about how they were shafted by the deal, which in turn builds brand distrust among non-customers.

Subsequently, HootSuite’s Offer Manager came on to explain what was supposed to be happening, and admitted that maybe the wording wasn’t ideal. All new users of HootSuite, he said, were routinely offered a thirty-day trial; this promotion was intended merely to double the length of the offer.

If there’s a lesson in this, it’s perhaps that firms with mad tech skillz are not equally adept at presenting their products — and that a “What does this mean?” note, sent to the correct person (if you can find the correct person), goes a long way toward avoiding misunderstandings.


1 comment »

  1. Bill Peschel »

    30 June 2014 · 1:14 pm

    Ironically, I’m thinking the same thing about Mack Collier. I scrolled down the post until I hit some landmine, the screen blanked out, and I received an offer to sign up for his newsletter.

    Since I had barely gotten into his post, I had no idea that he was pushing some “product”, but my instant reaction was to close the tab and vow never to go back. The only thing worse than receiving an “offer” to sign up at the end of the post is to get it at the beginning (when you have no idea what’s on the other side of the link).

    All that’s left is for someone to visit my site, become upset about whatever shanagins I’m perping over there, and leave a comment vowing to go back. So the cycle of distrust continues.

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