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Conversation: How SMM Tools Helped Brandsclub Marketing

By Joel Windels on Feburary 9th 2012

This article is about a series of conversations sponsored by Brandwatch, covering all facets of social media. To see a full list of the conversations that have taken place, click here for our archive.

Note: Brandsclub used a social media monitoring tool, but it wasn’t Brandwatch. It’s a compelling tale nonetheless. 

One of the largest perils of social media is when it all goes wrong, as the capacity for customers to vent their frustrations globally has never been greater.

With this power of disruption at the fingertips of all users of social media, it’s very important that companies have systems in place to weather these potential storms.

Neil Glassman of WhizBangPowWow discussed the issue with Jardel Appelt, head of social media at Brandsclub, a Brazilian online fashion retailer with a history of disaster management.

When Jardel took over the new role, the company were almost immediately plunged into a troublesome situation whereby a warehouse change caused a logistical catastrophe.

Customers were left without orders for long periods, and Jardel had a problem on his hands in dealing with the myriad complaints online. His first step was to invest in a system which would allow simple workflow assignment and analysis.

The couple of hundred daily complaints resulted in utter chaos for Brandsclub, and to deal with each was a laborious act originally, involving manual recovery of order numbers, phone calls and emails, a process that meant each customer took hours to deal with.

The existing customer service team were not au fait with Facebook, Twitter and the like, so part of Jardel’s job was to train staff to understand them properly before he could implement the new system.

Each social network has a different protocol, and learning the mode of address is just as important as getting to grips with the syntax and form.

With the SMM tool in place and the staff equipped with the knowledge to act, Brandsclub could then use work assignment features to allocate different aspects to each member of the customer service team.

One may be responsible for any enquiries about delays for example, another concerned with incorrect orders.

Using keywords and by crawling the social web, the SMM tool allows mentions about Brandsclub to be distributed into topics, which is how they were able to split the workflow amongst staff.

It wasn’t long before the damage was limited, and with a network of social profiles in place, Brandsclub could then isolate potential complaints on the social web before they reached the formal complaints level (email, phone).

On Brandsclub’s two year anniversary, they celebrated the event by offering wildly discounted goods on their site. The demand cause unprecedented amounts of traffic, causing the website to crash. Jardel hadn’t even noticed until the SMM tool displayed thousands of fresh complaints, all alluding to the site disruption.

With over 11,000 negative mentions for Jardel’s team to deal with, they were unable to respond to them all.

After liaising with the IT team, marketing issued a press release and distributed it amongst their social media channels, as well as attempting to target some of the most commonly reported problems, namely the site outage of course.

Once people were informed about the company’s issues and felt included in the responses, complaints went noticeably down.

Trolls still remained, something Jardel is quite adamant in ignoring. For people who criticise a company or thing without merit or reason, the best course of action is to not rise to the challenge and allow the mention to remain isolated.

To hear how Jardel helped Brandsclub handle their crisis management in full, click here to listen to the conversation at the PowWow.

Joel Windels


Joel is the VP Marketing at Wandera, the innovators in enterprise cloud services and security. He ran a marathon once, and has a wide range of Pokemon in his Pokedex.