Dear Naughty Monkey,
I’m afraid this is the end of the road for us.
It’s been quite a ride, really. I first learned of you several years ago when my friend Jill extolled your virtues on the internet discussion board where we met. I bought a pair of Live Wires off ebay. I was especially drawn to them because Live Wire is also the name of my all-time favourite Motley Crue song.
Every time a pair of shoes or boots was delivered to my door, I let out a little squeal and shared my joy by posting pictures of my new prizes to Facebook and Twitter. Several friends were turned over to your brand as a result.
Your style was fun, colourful and yet wearable for the everyday professional.
Over the last few years, I have amassed quite the collection of Naughty Monkey footwear, even drifting over to your sister brand Not Rated for a couple of times.
Engaging with your social media accounts was enjoyable. I even won a pair of red Emerald City pumps during a Valentine’s Day promotion in 2011.
That ended this week.
I sent the following email to your brand director and marketing director earlier this week:
First, let me introduce myself by saying I have been a loyal customer of Naughty Monkey shoes for several years. I have been a brand advocate, turning several of my friends onto the name and ensuring they engaged with your social media accounts.
I was a bit taken aback this afternoon when your social media representative posted on your Facebook timeline what I thought was a whiny post about the new Facebook timeline. She found it ‘soooooo confusing.’ I posted a couple of links to help her out.
I have been involved with social media for several years. I was the social media strategist for a national telecommunications company in Canada. I kind of know a thing or two about Facebook and the timeline, especially that the timeline for brands has been known since last September. This timeline thing should not be taking anyone by surprise or confusing them.
I posted to my Twitter account that I found it funny Naughty Monkey would be ‘whining’ about the Facebook timeline publicly when it’s likely the reason the person has a job. Harsh? Maybe so. But I like to expect bigger things from people in my own industry of marketing and communications. A conversation with your social media representative ensued. She has since deleted not only the Facebook post but her Twitter replies to me as well.
You can see her replies to me here:
You can see my end of the conversation here:
One of the first rules of social media marketing and engagement is to be yourself. The message I received from Naughty Monkey today is that it is snarky and flippant. And while I — of all people — respect the ability to be snarky and flippant, I sure don’t expect it from the brands I follow. Instead, I expect a level of professionalism and an ability to be ahead of the trends, not to be so confused by them.
You may not agree with my perspective on the matter. That’s OK. That’s what opinions are all about. For now, however, Naughty Monkey has lost one of its biggest champions in Canada.
I received a reply this afternoon.
I thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. Your email to Jay was probably not answered in a timely manner because a group of us were traveling overseas and our internet access was inconsistent.
Now for the issue at hand, I will bring it up to our social media person. It is not our intention to insult our fans who have helped us get to where we are. The continued support of our fans whether they be big or small matters to us and losing a brand supporters like yourself hurts no less.
Ismael “Mike” Cortez
I think Mike gets it. I thanked him and let him know I thought it should be of great concern that his social media person deletes her comments in an attempt to cover her tracks.
Many of of my friends know this goes against the very grain of the authenticity and transparency that social media represents.
Oddly enough, in a completely unrelated incident, my friend Chelsea — whom I’m assuming knew nothing of my interactions on Tuesday — addressed the Naughty Monkey Twitter account with a language error in one of her Tweets.
Chelsea — smart, beautiful, creative, ambitious and destined to rule the world — received this Tweet in response:
When Chelsea, another professional trained and experienced in corporate use of social media, called the account out for being snide, the Tweet was deleted.
Now some of you may see this as a whole lot of nothing, but it does speak to the importance of ensuring the tone and voice a company wants to express to its followers and fans.
I will always take issue with corporate accounts that designate the content to someone who has a tenuous grasp on the English language.
And I will always take issue with corporate accounts handled by people who see everything as a big haha, no matter how flippant or snarky I can be on my personal feeds.
Companies need to aim higher, no matter how small or large they are.
And they sure as heck need to be better prepared (and trained) to handle negative feedback.
That being said, I’ve looked at the new spring line for Naughty Monkey. I’ve realized I’m no longer your target demographic. That has nothing to do with my age but more with my fashion sense.
If anyone is a Snooki wannabe, however, I do suggest checking out the new styles.
And yeah … meow.
Yours in footwear,