Thomas Hannah's recent articles
AMC’s failed attempt to get Facebook fans on their side of “selfish” dispute shows the dangers of taking loyalty for granted
Consumer negativity following AMC’s attempt to engage Facebook fans around a corporate dispute with the Dish Network is in an important lesson in not taking your fans’ loyalty for granted, or assuming that a Like means they will side with you.
Since early May, the TV channel AMC has been locked in a dispute with the broadcaster Dish Network. Dish has dropped AMC’s channels, meaning they are now unavailable to many former customers. Dish claims the amount AMC planned to charge them for the channels was excessive.
In the hope that its fans will lobby Dish to continue broadcasting its programmes, AMC has tried several approaches to draw attention to the dispute, including setting zombies loose in New York City. The channel has also turned to its Facebook fan community, frequently posting about the Dish dispute when promoting its shows and asking fans to “switch from Dish” or “demand AMC back.” WaveMetrix investigated whether fans are content to be drawn into the disagreement between the companies.
WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that consumers strongly dislike “being spammed” about AMC’s “money-hungry” dispute with Dish, which they say makes AMC sound like “a spoiled child”. This negativity shows the importance of making sure content on a brand social media page never makes fans feel that the brand’s needs are being put above theirs, as this risks a scathing backlash.
Posts on AMC’s Facebook wall about the Dish dispute are overwhelmingly negative:
- Very few consumers see AMC’s side of things when commenting on the Dish dispute: Consumers have a range of issues with the dispute being “flogged” on the AMC Facebook page, saying they “wish AMC would stop all its stupid spam” or that they are “just being greedy”. Others say they “don’t care who’s right or wrong” they just want their “channels back”, while some call the brand’s combative approach in posts “childish”
Consumer topics in response to the AMC/Dish dispute show that the AMC brand suffers most:
- More than any other topic, responses to the AMC/Dish dispute lead to negativity around the AMC brand: Consumers say AMC are being “bullies” or “jerks” due to their refusal to “bury the hatchet” or “sort out” the dispute with Dish “themselves”
- Others comment that the issue is “all about money” and has nothing to do with them: They see the dispute as not their “problem” as it is a “greedy” dispute between the two companies that is “driving customer satisfaction down the toilet”
- The dispute also drives negative discussion about AMC’s programming: Some say AMC shows are “not worth switching for” or that it is not worth changing providers for “a handful of good shows”. Others say they “can just watch the shows online” so why would they “pay more”
- Some ask AMC to “stop the spam” about the dispute: They say AMC is “just as much to blame” and are “just being annoying” by posting about the issue, which consumers feel is AMC “trying to push people into making decisions we shouldn't have to”