Price Chopper discusses Twitter controversy
Wed, 06 Oct 2010 03:04:03 GMT — Price Chopper has seen the negative side of a news story going viral in recent weeks. An upset customer made critical comments on their Twitter page about the grocery chain. Then, a Price Chopper employee saw those comments, and contacted the customer's employer calling for some sort of punishment.
Syracuse University professor Anthony Rotolo created a website to draw attention to Price Chopper TMs reaction to the incident and that website quickly showed the grocery chain how much power one tweet could have.
"When I posted that blog online a lot of the folks I constantly communicate with via Twitter started to push that out to their own networks and we had a real viral situation on our hands when the information spread, said Rotolo. Price Chopper became aware of it several hours later and started to engage in the conversation."
That conversation led to Price Chopper Chief Operating Officer Jerry Golub coming to Rotolo's social media class on Tuesday for a discussion about the mistakes his family's company made and the importance of social media moving forward. People in classroom and across the country posted more than 675 comments and questions on a Twitter page about the class.
"You've got this whole soup of conversation that hopefully comes out with something better for the company or for the people who were talking in the first place, said student Andrew Golibersuch.
Students in the class said the Price Chopper representatives acknowledged mistakes and said an employee overstepped their bounds. Students also added that the company seemed genuinely interested in improving their social media programs in the future.
"I don't think this mistake means they didn't know how to use social media - I think it just means they are rolling with the punches of a whole new way of communicating, said graduate student Alyssa Henry.
While Price Chopper took some heat in the meeting but Rotolo gave them credit for facing the questions.
"It's not about the company doing everything right all the time and it's not about the customer being happy all the time, it's about the expectation of a conversation, TM said Rotolo
One conversation Price Chopper was not having was with the traditional media. The company TMs Twitter page says we LOVE social media but the very next post says no tv/ news reporters please!
After the meeting CNYCentral.com asked COO Jerry Golub if we could talk to him about the class and what they had learned. Golub said it was an academic exercise and wanted Price Chopper's side to be included. Golub then refused to be interviewed.
Twitter feed of Tuesday TMs SU class - http://twitter.com/search?q=%23rotoloclass
Price Chopper Twitter feed - http://twitter.com/PriceChopperNY