your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.

WARNING: RANT ALERT! Ok, I’ve given you fair warning. Here it comes. I cannot express how angry I am with whoever is managing the social media for Sky 1’s Got to Dance.

I’m am, in fact, seething. Why? Because these people have failed their fans in a big way: and all because they have no understanding of how they should really be using social media.

In all honesty, I should have figured this out earlier today when I saw the tweet pretty much begging for the hashtag #gottodance to be used because they wanted to ‘trend all day’. That in itself presents a fundamental lack of understanding. You don’t ask people to make you trend, trending should be something that happens organically, an indication of a subject’s popularity or topics that matter to people.

So, just what has happened to enrage me this much? Well, I’ll tell you.

I am a fan of Got to Dance. Enough of a fan that I applied to Applause Store for tickets to the live final. In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d get allocated any, but somehow, I did and I’ve been pretty excited about this all week.

Now, having worked on live TV shows and recordings that need a studio audience, I’m aware that Applause Store over-allocate tickets to ensure they’re full to capacity. I’m also aware that you therefore need to arrive at least a couple of hours early to ensure your seat. Fine. And had I arrived to be told, “sorry guys, you just missed out – last few places have just gone, feel free to wait in the standby queue if you want”, I wouldn’t have an issue.

However, to arrive somewhere with such heavy social media coverage, only to be told, “sorry guys, tickets were all allocated over 3 hours ago, you need to go home”, makes me, in the words of a tiny, faceless cartoon character, very angry.

And this is where my statement about there being a fundamental lack of understanding of social media, community management and how to engage / leverage your fan base becomes applicable. The Got to Dance guys are heavily re-tweeting the good comments, but not telling fans what they need to know about the bad stuff.

Now, I live in London. My journey to the venue, Olympia, took less than an hour. When we arrived, we were faced with hundreds of hugely disappointed kids, parents and fans in general, all being told their tickets were no longer valid. How many of those had travelled from all over the country to see the final of their favourite show? How many have travelled in from outside London and spent probably a good few quid to get there, only to be told there was no room? And then think how many could have been spared the time, money and suffered a little less disappointment if the social media guys had bothered to let them know that three hours earlier, all the seats had been filled.

I sometimes work on a certain live TV show, conveniently also presented by Davina McCall. And part of my job is social media (I’m a digital producer). Now, I’m not saying that we always get it right, but we do have a basic comprehension of how to engage with our audience. For example, when something goes wrong.

If there’s a problem, like, oh I don’t know, say the audience gets filled up hours in advance, we message our fans – on all available channels – to let them know. If there’s a problem with the website or online contestant applications, we apologise to people. We don’t just disregard the comments coming in and only engage with the ones bigging up the show. We take the good with the bad and that level of personal engagement is what ensures our fans stay fans, even when things go wrong.

In the same way, we don’t delete negative comments from Facebook or Twitter. If someone has something bad to say about the show, let them say it. Social media is all about freedom of speech, not censorship. I just went back to check the show’s Facebook page and I’ll be honest, I half expected my comments about lack of information to have been deleted; I’m very glad to see they’re still there.

I’m also glad to see that my comments seem to have acted as a catalyst for others to voice their displeasure about their poor experience (although I am sorry they suffered it too). And the point I made above has been reinforced by the poor mother who posted after me, having spent £36 in train fares to get there and then had to tell her 11-year old daughter that she wouldn’t be seeing the show after all. Adding insult to injury, she was told this was ‘because more celebs turned up than were anticipated’. So, another indication of just how much your fans mean…

I’ve gone on for quite a bit here so I promise I’ll stop in a sec. I have just a couple more things I need to get off my chest.

I have directed a lot of my rage at the social team for Got to Dance but some of the fault needs to lie with Applause Store. They too have social channels, although their following is not as wide as that of the show. They could at least have posted something letting fans know that seats had all gone. They could also, and this is perhaps a more important point, make sure the note about tickets being distributed over 4 hours before the doors opened is in big fat print at the top of the so-called ‘ticket’. Not tiny little smallprint at the bottom of the page (but I guess that’s why you should always read the smallprint!)

In summary though, I would ask the guys at Got to Dance to look closely at their social media strategy. Take a look at what it is that those pages who do well on social media actually do – they engage. That means reading everything coming in from your fans, responding where a response is needed – either individually or in bulk. I know it’s a hassle and I know you’re under pressure on a live show, but ignoring genuine questions and comments from your fans will ultimately backfire and you’ll gain far more respect by being genuine. Don’t just post or retweet the good stuff, keep your fans in the know, speak to them on a personal level and you’ll gain far more respect and brand loyalty than you can imagine.

I’m just saying.

(tek)

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Comments
5 Responses to “your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.”
  1. Tammy says:

    Hi Tek

    I am indeed the mother that you mention in this statement, and I have to say I am still so angry about what has happened today. I understand that they may overbook for a few but to over book by hundreds is a total shambles.

    We received our tickets over 2 weeks ago now and my daughter was so excited. Not just because she enjoys the show, but also because she is a fan of Ashley and Diversity. Her little face broke my heart when I had to tell her ”Sorry babe we cant get in” she immediately broke down in tears. I also got very upset, because as a mother I should have been able to make things right for her, but I couldnt.

    As im sat here now, she has just gone upstairs in tears because of how upset she is. Was I offered an apology by the events manager? no he explained to me that we werent getting in, before turning his back and walking off.

    I hope you guys at applause can live with yourself, whilst im left to pick up the pieces here.

    I wish I could put into words how deeply disapointed I am and how very upset and angry I am, but those words would not even come close.

    Thanks for breaking my little girls heart.

    • tekg1rl says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Thank you for commenting and I am so sorry for you and your daughter. I was extremely angry on finding out that we couldn’t get in – and we only travelled a short distance and didn’t spend any money, I can’t imagine how devastated your daughter must be tonight.

      I’ve been tweeting and sending Facebook comments to the guys at both Got to Dance and Applause Store all night with not a single response. I think the level of interest i’ve had on this post in a few short hours though shows what a terrible experience this has been for a lot of people.

      It wouldn’t have been much comfort but making people aware of the ticket situation in advance would at least have made it less of a shock and given more respect for the show and the organisers for at least having some thought for those fans travelling to the event.

      Really sorry you had to put up with this and I hope you do go ahead and write to applause store.

      (tek)

  2. Tammy says:

    Hi Tek

    Im sorry that you have been let down too.

    I hope that someone has the decency to reply to our complaints

    Tammy x

  3. Rachel says:

    Had the same experience, so angry! We got there at 11, queued for around 3 hours only to be told we were put on standby and to come back at 4.15. So we did, waited for around 20 minutes and then a man comes out saying there is no tickets left. I feel so bad for all the little kids I saw crying with got to dance face paint on their faces. I was so disappointed so I can only imagine what they felt like. They didn’t just allocate tickets to HUNDREDS more but THOUSANDS more. There were 1000 in the standby queue, so after that how many thousands were there. Applause store = a joke.

    • tekg1rl says:

      I’m sorry to hear you had the same experience – I keep re-posting this on the Got to Dance page and asking them to look at the comments but still no response. Please forward the link on to anyone else who ad the same experience and get them to comment – or simply comment on the show’s facebook page, i’m determined to get some sort of apology out of them at least!

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