Social Media Fail from a Social Company?

Back in November of 2011, I wrote a rather glowing review of a new social application called Buffer (Why Not “Buffer” Your Social Posts – A Review), and have been a loyal user ever since.  I’ve even recommended it to numerous clients and friends to help with their social media planning.  And I have no plans to stop using it, regardless of how they handle their own Facebook presence.

What do I mean, you ask?  Well over the last two weeks I’ve noticed that posts to my Facebook page did not have the ability to be “shared” with my followers.  In other words, you could comment or like the individual posts, but not share them with your friends.

Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of using social media?  I’ve lost the “share-ability” of any items posted through Buffer.

No problem, I thought.  So I posted to the Buffer Facebook Page, on January 5th, expecting a response rather quickly.  After all, this was a company that “got” social media and the importance of connecting.

But no response came.  Nothing.  Crickets.

So, on Monday, January 9, 2011 I reposted the same question.

It wasn’t until Wednesday, January 11, 2012, when I finally received a rather detailed response (to my January 5th post), including the fact that it was a problem with the Facebook API preventing this, and that although other programs (such as Hootsuite) have worked around this, “…it doesn’t seem to be a great solution for us.”

Really.  6 days to blame Facebook for the issue?

Shouldn’t a company operating a social “plug-in” for Facebook and Twitter be more responsive?

Though I wouldn’t count this as one of the biggest social media “fails” of 2012 (after all, the year is only 12 days old), I’m feeling that it is a slight to their social customer.  If you are interested in what may be the biggest social media catastrophe for the year, check out Worst Use of Social Media of 2012: Boners BBQ.

Increasingly, we are looking to the brands on Facebook to provide customer service through their pages, and when we are completely ignored, it makes us feel like we don’t matter.  That is not the way to do business in the social world, is it?

Have you witnessed any other surprising social failures?  Especially where you expected greatness?  Let me know in the comments.  I look forward to hearing about them.


Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.




  1. TMobile has been an utter disaster in my experience, if you complain they send a message to chat, then block you. I sure you could find a few for each person.

    Recently, Groundlink left this impression for me with their mobile app.

    I received a $50 credit for it at the Ignition Conference as an influencer to try it. It was suppose to be this really cool car service app that was supposed to be reasonably priced. I went to use it from Brooklyn to NYC for the #140 Holiday Party, when I plugged it in it gave me a price of $80… when I called around the average for car service was about $40, half the price.
    On the way back from Woo Hop I caved and wanted to give it a fair try, the gps showed the driver 0 minutes away which got me frantic because I ordered the car for an hour from then. The driver had pulled up near bye and was doing paperwork but I didn’t know that till I called. The license plate didn’t match and the photo of the driver was so small it kind of defeated the point. Regardless of the fact that a few of the little things where buggy, ultimately I couldn’t get over the so called “credit” that seemed to double the price of just dialing.

    It was frustrating because mobile apps are suppose to make things easier, and hopefully more affordable and that’s what they pitched it as…not the case.

    • Thanks for the reply, Basil. The companies that give credit to try the application or service, only to find that the service is marked up is an incredible mistake, in my opinion. That is a typical store tactic, where they will mark up prices before the sale. It’s not a bargain, either way.

      I must say for cellular, I couldn’t ask for better from Verizon. I’ve never suffered a problem with their customer service. I feel lucky in that regard.

      Again, thanks!

  2. Hi Craig,
    My biggest disappointment was with an app that allowed me to create a rather nice WELCOME page on facebook. I copied the code from my blog and was very proud of the results. Then I noticed the fine print at the top of the page indicating that the app would be no longer usable on January 5, 2012. I think it was up for about two weeks. Any suggestions for an app for a facebook WELCOME page?

    • Hi Alison. Facebook has been moving away from FBML for quite some time. I’m surprised the app didn’t indicate that. That’s a fail in my opinion.

      There are lots of great apps out there to create Facebook pages. Just for example: Fanpageengine, Tabsite, and Pagemodo. All have free versions and all are easy to use.



  3. So far, any failures in social media have been my own and not app-inflicted! I was interested, though, to read of Craig’s experience with Buffer. That is an app that many of us rely on and I think Buffer needs to get this issue worked out ASAP.

  4. Not having a “SHARE” feature from Buffer on Facebook is a very big SM oversight. After sharing an architectural article on a local home in Westboro, Ottawa I discovered fans wanted to share the post on Facebook but could only “Like” or “Comment”. This is not what social media is about and the Page owner misses out on valuable SEO juice IMHO. While I love Buffer’s ease of use I’m thinking of moving back to Hootsuite for this reason alone.

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