The @OracleCommerce business plan:
- Insult your customers under the guise of offering them unsolicited advice on a topic unrelated to your business.
Just had to save my post about these fools until April 1st. Let’s take a look at how it went down on Sunday night.
It’s all terrible but let’s break it down, shall we?
When the minion running their social account on a Sunday made that first comment, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he was joking. It was neither a good joke nor a one that served his brand in anyway, but let’s assume the intention behind it was to connect with one of their followers in a good humored way. He saw my tweet come by in his stream randomly and decided to engage with it. Negatively.
Also worth noting: This was my first interaction with this company so it’s not like we’ve built up some kind of insult comic rapport.
At this point you may have questions. Valid ones like, “What in the name of God compelled them to think offering unsolicited writing advice from their official company account was a good idea?” or “What does a commerce company know about writing at all, let alone fiction or playwrighting?” or “What brand would randomly attack a potential customer they’d had no interaction with before?” and I don’t have answers for you. Nothing in their company bio indicates that they have anything to do with the craft of writing or know anything about it and it bares no relation to what their business does. Even if it did, their comment was rude and implied a critique on my writing skills from out of left field.
When I replied, the poor sap could have stopped, taken a look at my bio, realized he was completely out of his depth, and left it there but, no. Instead he doubled down with three condescending, misguided messages in a row, going from one awkward tweet from an official company account to a full on glorious brand train-wreck. (That “we” he uses, of course, refers to both him and his ass that was providing him with this high quality writing advice.) These tweets would be unprofessional and rude from a writing expert from whom I had asked for advice, from a brand that has nothing whatsoever with the craft of writing to send these out as unsolicited comments to a professional in the field isn’t just a massive social media FAIL, it’s a big embarrassment for their company as a whole. It was a completely random, unprompted attack on a potential customer and a blogger they’d be better served to have in their corner and I cannot see any scenario in which it would have benefited them in any way.
I took these screenshots as soon as it happened because it’s safe to say, once the grown-ups find out that the weekend guy was brandsplaining random people on Twitter and picking fights in their name, both the tweet and my friend, Anton Chekhov the social media intern, will be long gone. But while tweets can be deleted and doofuses fired, the internet is forever and this gaff will live on, particularly in the light of how they handle it. (Kind of ironic that their name is Oracle, eh? You’d think they’d have seen this coming!)
Who knows how many other people this guy has been attacking in their name while the owners rest, thinking their official company account is in good hands?
Let this be a terrifying reminder to brands. When you hire someone to be your brand’s personality online, sometimes that personality is Asshole. By giving them the power to speak under your banner, you’re letting them control your voice and, as you can see, it’s not always a good thing. Oracle Commerce could offer a great service or be a company I’d love to give my money, but instead I’m going to forever judge them by my very first interaction with them aka this disaster.
The saddest footnote to this entire thing? I actually visited their website when I was trying to figure out if they actually did have some kind of secret connection to writing so this would all make some kind of twisted sense and the copy on their site, particularly the About page, is actually very bad, as if it was done using am auto-translation program. Maybe someone should tell them that, with a little practice, they’d know how to develop their own voice so their writing’s not so stilted?