Universal Music Group on Tumblr: Social Marketing Gone Wrong

A few months ago I contributed to a news article about businesses increasingly participating in social media platforms for marketing and management of customer relations.

Seems the recording industry behemoth Universal Music Group was listening, as they’ve recently joined the multimedia blogging platform Tumblr. Problem is, they don’t seem to know what they’re doing (and are still in the process of hiring someone to “Participate in online social networking environments and develop viral marketing campaigns”).

Countless users are cringing at the notion that UMG is now participating in this social environment and “following” their contributions in this community: see here, here, here, and here, for example.

Perhaps the best account of this “mis-adventure” in social marketing is from convincingindie, who recounts the story here. You can read through the details, but it ends with Universal Music accusing convincingindie of being “scared” and “paranoid.” After they get called out on the ludicrousness of all this, UMG deleted their original posts, and posted their “final word” on the issue.

I’ve asked UMG why they deleted the posts in question, but haven’t received an acknowledgment or reply.

#Buzzkill.

UPDATE (04-19-2009): In the weeks since posting this, I’ve frequently re-visited UMG’s Tumblr site to see if they’d responded regarding the removal of their posts disparaging convincingindie. When I checked the site today, I discovered they had redesigned their Tumblr feed, removing the comments (and presumably all comments on all posts) altogether. Luckily, I grabbed a screenshot of the cache of the original post showing my inquiry.

So, to summarize, UMG has accused a fellow Tumbr user of being “scared” and “paranoid”, then they removed those posts, and then failed to reply to my inquiry as to why they removed the posts without comment, and then redesigned the site removing all comments (and preventing any future comments of any of their postings).

#Buzzkill.

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