On new year’s day the BBC announced that it would be sharing a special, alternate ending to popular soap opera ‘Eastenders’ on Snapchat. Fans waited two hours for it to appear and when it did, disappointment.
I, like many other viewers jumped over to Snapchat when the show finished and waited for the alternate ending. We waited a long time to watch it and when we did it wasn’t what we had been expecting.
The ending consisted of one video snap, 10 seconds long, shot landscape. It was a series of shots cut together to give you a vague idea of what could have happened. When I saw it I was sure that wasn’t it. Could the BBC really have teased us for so long for just one, badly put together snap? It wasn’t just me, a glance a Twitter showed lots of disappointed people.
Watch my reaction to the Eastenders Snapchat fail
Where did they go wrong?
When you chose to launch on a new social network you need to get it right. You need to understand the language, the way people use it, etiquette. It took me a while to get used to Snapchat, I watched a whole load of snaps before I was confident to post my own. It looks like the BBC didn’t.
They over promised
I was given a really great piece of advice in the early years of running a business. ‘Under promise and over deliver’. I haven’t always succeeded but I’ve always tried to follow this advice.
When you offer something you need to at the very least deliver on that offer. Items and services should be as described. But the best businesses over deliver on that offer, give customers more than they expected.
Sometimes it’s in the form of a gift. Meaghers Pharmacy adds a little treat to deliveries. An unexpected present for their customers. Or it could be as simple as a phone call or a tweet to help your client promote their services. Companies that go out of the way to be better than promised are the ones that build good will.
Eastenders failed to deliver. They promised an alternate ending, what they gave us was a badly put together snap… late.
They didn’t value their audience
I can’t be sure why the BBC chose to use Snapchat in this way but I can guess.
Eastenders consistently gets high ratings and there is always a lot of Twitter chatter about it. The show was the perfect vehicle for them to promote the BBC_One snapchat channel. The promise of an alternate ending was almost irresistible, some tweeted that they were joining snapchat just to see it.
I’m sure that the stunt gained them lots of new followers, they probably met their targets but it will take a while for us to watch again or trust them to deliver something entertaining.
This isn’t the way to show an audience that you value them, it isn’t a way to show them they feel special. They let their fans down.
Did you see the Eastenders snap? What did you think? How could they have made it better?