One of the key tenets of social media is that you need to engage with your audience. A brand should do their best to appeal to the reasons why their followers followed them in the first place, encourage them to tell their story, so that others can interact and engage, thereby enhancing the sense of community. Knowing this, Pepto-Bismol decided to ask their 5k followers a simple question…
The most awkward places to experience, diarrhea? Go.
— Pepto-Bismol (@Pepto) October 27, 2013
Erm… yeah, you didn’t misread it, that was the question they decided to engage their users with. Has it worked? Well, as you can see it’s generated a nice number of retweets and favorites, and has received a lot of comments in response. However, the responses tend to fall into one of 3 categories:
Moral outrage at the question
At your new job after you got fired from Pepto-Bismol. RT @Pepto: The most awkward places to experience, diarrhea? Go.
— Josephina Stalinanie (@stephandstuff) October 27, 2013
@darth I mean what in the I can’t even
— Count Corsula (@WhyofCorso) October 27, 2013
— Jeffrey Czerniak (@geekable) October 27, 2013
.@Pepto While you’re being dragged out of the building, having been fired from your social media internship?
— creppy todd (@_toddjohnson) October 27, 2013
This is mostly shocking and offensive because of the nonsense comma. || RT @Pepto: The most awkward places to experience, diarrhea? Go.
— Jenna Bromberg (@jennabrom) October 27, 2013
What’s worse: loose bowels or loose commas? RT @Pepto: The most awkward places to experience, diarrhea? Go.
— Damnhell Boooolake (@DCPlod) October 27, 2013
Was this the type of engagement that Pepto-Bismol was looking for? Given the rest of the content of their twitter feed, they don’t take themselves too seriously, but they run the risk of alienating followers by asking for stories about bowel issues that some may deem offensive or taboo.
What do you think? Does this harm their reputation or endear them to you?
About Simon Heseltine
Simon Heseltine is currently the Director of Audience Development for AOL Inc.