Saturday, June 2, 2012

Paradigm Mall: A Social Media Fiasco

*My personal opinion and does not reflect the mall nor anyone else.
Image taken from Paradigm Mall's official website.
A few days ago, the tending topic was of Paradigm Mall's Facebook inappropriate reply with regards to one of the customer's trolling comment. It all started with a customer's comment about the lifts in the mall. In response to that, another Facebook user replied with sarcasm (and it isn't his first time trolling the mall's page). 

Whoever was behind the mall's Facebook presence, must have snapped, because the next reply from them, unleashed a tsunami of backlash from every imaginable angle. You can refer to the image below and see for yourselves the damage the mall picked up as a result of poor social media management. The last time I checked the page, this thread had garnered over 500 comments in a couple of hours.


In the company I'm currently employed at, I've learnt a lot of what social media is and how to behave when using it. And when I came across Paradigm Mall's fiasco, the first fault would inevitable point to the person/vendor handling the account. Honestly, that retort and sarcasm directed to the troller wasn't necessary. I felt it could have been handled better, or simply just ignore that shit stirrer. The mall is a month old, and for the Management to venture into having a social media presence, is actually very brave. In fact, I do believe they are actually looking forward to whatever feedback they can get, because they really want to make this mall work.

Unfortunately, the Management might need a bit more lessons about what and how social media really works. And over the last few days, the mall's image took a plunge, but never the less brought on some publicity along the way. From 8,000 likes to over 10,000 likes in a span of a few days! OK, so the metrics may not translate to everything good about it, as out of the 10,000 likes, over 8,000 are talking about Paradigm Mall (albeit some negativity). Bad publicity is still publicity, it's just something the Management probably never anticipated. The GM of the mall eventually posted a public apology, and Malaysians being Malaysians, are still throwing rocks at them, but never the less, things have pretty much simmered and died down for a while.

I have met the mall's Project Manager before, and I have listened and watched his expressions and body language. He is a genuine person, a good guy. I have seen him wearing a reflective vest, waving and directing traffic at the busy inter-section just outside the mall on a weekend. I am convinced that this guy is really trying his very best to make things work, even if his job is going to fucking rocky. I have talked to the mall's customer service and the guys there are cool, and even cracked jokes with me about the very confusing basement car park.

No establishment this big would want to open just to watch it fail. Their recent opening on the 23rd May 2012 is merely a soft opening, and it just means that we should expect some kinks here and there. Paradigm Mall actually managed to get about 90% of their tenants, ready for business, at the time of the soft opening. I was impressed actually, because not every mall can do that. Take a look at Tropicana CityMall for instance. When they first opened their doors, the mall had barely 50% of their tenants. Until today, they still can't achieve 100%.

But I guess some folks failed to see some of the good side of things. So the mall isn't perfect, but what is? I'm sure they are trying their darndest best to improve in every aspect they see possible. So really, it's not about the mall, but the ones behind its Facebook account that should be held accountable.

Trollers should also learn that their actions only depict their poor sense of social etiquette, as there is no point in giving nonconstructive comments. Constructive feedback should be given, not just one-liner lines, which just reflects poorly on a person's articulation towards the subject at hand. You want to give your feedback, articulate it properly. Give constructive feedback, get constructive replies. Communication on any social media platform is always two-way, and there will be a percentage of folks who uses platforms like Facebook as their personal whining playground.

Paradigm Mall, lesson learnt, time to stand up and shape up. It's going to a rough road ahead for you guys after this little hiccup, but never the less, with perseverance and the right people manning your team, I'm sure you can garner back the support and confidence from the public. Here's wishing you all the best, and I look forward to see all the improvements you can make this make this neighbourhood a success!

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