The overturning of ING’s bonuses policy after Dutch customers mobilised through social media shows what can happen when a company isn’t in tune with its audience.
Moreover, it shows that social media isn’t just some fuzzy concept about having ’a chat’ with your consumers in the hope of casually influencing their thinking and behaviour, but an indication of the far-reaching influences these consumers can have on anorganisation itself that goes beyond the consumer-brand relationship.
In ING’s situation, this could even mean legislative reform to cap bonuses, as the Dutch ask: “Whose money is it anyway?”
Perhaps every boardroom should contain a social media seat to keep in mind that consumers are not just an audience anymore, but potentially active partners in running the show.
Ironically, ING’s own website states: “Never underestimate the power of the net.” It also states that ING uses social media as “another means of touching our customer”.
Touch them the wrong way and you’ll get a slap in the Facebook.
Freelance digital strateg