Bank of Cyprus has recently launched its Facebook Page marking its entrance on the most popular Social Media network. As far as we know it’s probably the biggest failure ever on launching a Facebook page and it’s coming from the biggest company in Cyprus!
So why is the launching of their Facebook page a total bust? Well just take a look at their posts and you will find it hard to read any of the comments. Most of them or all of them have either been deleted or hidden for others to see.
The reason? Simple enough. Bank of Cyprus being the largest bank on the island had to be bailed out a couple of years ago by taking a large sum of its depositors money due to a big exposure to Greek bonds. From there on the bank is trying hard to survive and all at the expense of its clients and the local economy. Now the bank, still under pressure due to high percentage of non performing loans, continues to give a hard time to its clients.
It was thus imminent that people would react in any given way possible and Facebook is just the right platform for everyone to express their dissatisfaction and their opinion on any matter. Now imagine having the company you hate the most, available on Facebook! That is exactly what you expect the interaction to be!
So what would the options be in this case for a business in this situation?
a) Continue the effort to convince clients that you are a responsible caring business
b) Face the reality and reply to comments giving your view on things
c) Stop using Facebook
In my opinion Bank of Cyprus will choose option A regardless of what people say and try over time to smooth things by not replying hoping that people will forgive and forget. This does not mean that I agree but this is what I think they will choose to do.
There is though another dimension on this issue that we need to consider. Big companies in the past that have behaved irresponsibly have been exposed and criticized by the public on Social Media. Nestle and Mattel are 2 examples of Brands forced to change their policies and their way of doing business for the better. They were pressured by public outrage to change their suppliers because the ones they used were responsible for deforestation.
This shows the raw power of Social Media and that people can actually push businesses with bad practices or low moral standards to improve themselves. I think that Bank of Cyprus is another case like Nestle and Mattel were people have the chance and power to shift things in a different way than they are now.