- Today in Digital Marketing
- Inside Meta's Möbius Strip of Support Hell
Inside Meta's Möbius Strip of Support Hell
Meta promises if you pay for the blue checkmark, you'll get better support. But is it true? (Spoiler: Probably not, no.)
In Today's Issue
No-Fluff Marketing Industry News & Insights
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Social media platforms are expected to take a hit in the next couple of years. A new Gartner study says half of consumers plan to abandon or significantly limit their interactions with social media by next year.
Why? Top reasons include the spread of misinformation, toxic users, and how many bots there are.
Also — and I thought this was more interesting — 7 out of 10 consumers said they think the obsessions these platforms have with AI will harm the user experience.
According to the report, 53% of consumers believe that social media has deteriorated compared to the previous year or five years ago.
Google Lays Off Hundreds of Ad Salespeople
We don’t cover a lot of the tech layoffs on here, but now those layoffs are starting to seep into the digital marketing space with a few hundred employees on Google’s advertising sales team being dropped.
Tomorrow, our Google Ads correspondent Jyll Saskin Gales — who spent six years in sales at Google — will be here to walk us through the potential impact of this on digital marketers.
FedEx Wants to Compete with Amazon
FedEx is coming for Amazon.
The company announced this week it is launching a new commerce platform called fdx that it says will help online retailers manage their supply chain, sell things, and handle deliveries.
This is a pivot that FedEx really didn’t have a choice in doing. Both it and UPS have been hurting since Amazon switched to its own delivery network — a network so large now that last year it made more home package deliveries than UPS and FedEx combined.
So you’ve written your company’s LinkedIn post and now all that’s left is to add hashtags. But wait — should you? Do they even do anything other than clutter up the post?
Social Media Today reports that hashtags are not a sure path to reach.
Researcher Richard van der Blom, who has previously studied hashtags on LinkedIn, now says they do not increase reach at all any more.
And honestly, this is probably the case as well with all platforms that use hashtags. They were a helpful tool when Twitter users started using them to group conversations. In time, spammers took over, AI got smarter, and the truth is there’s probably not much use for them in most major social platforms.
A small change with Meta’s Threads app now lets you hide both Like and Share counts on your posts.
Up until now, you’ve only been able to hide Like counts. This is set for each post if you want to tinker at that depth, but you can also make it the account default by going to Settings, then Privacy in the mobile app. One thing to note — since Threads uses Instagram’s code foundation, doing this will also hide those details on your connected Instagram account as well.
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Does Paying for Meta Verified Get You Better Support?
One of the advantages that Meta says you’ll have when you pay for a blue verified checkmark is better support — you’ll have access to actual humans when something goes wrong.
And things go wrong with Meta’s platforms all the time — for marketers, one of the most common and frustrating issues is getting locked out of their account. This seems to happen at random. Meta’s policy-enforcement AI bots mistake some behaviour pattern as nefarious, or someone successfully hacks into your account, and POOF! you are locked out, with no human beings to help.
So some brands have taken to buying the blue checkmark just so they can get to a real live support rep at Meta, not a support bot.
But — and I know this will not come as a surprise to you — this new system is hardly a pathway to actual issue resolution.
Ars Technica reported this week on some poor photographer who got locked out of her Instagram account. The issue was that initially, she signed up using her husband’s cell phone number. But then, they got divorced, now ex-husband changed his number, a hacker got into her account, and the app tried sending the reset code to her ex-husband’s now defunct phone number.
Meta’s ironically named “help pages” didn’t get her an answer, nor did filling out the form. So she sprung for the paid verification, which promises:
She got in touch with a real person — apparently named Maria — and was told that the company’s "Internal Team" was working on the issue and they would get back to her. Then, nothing for an entire week.
Remember, this was her business Instagram account. Being unable to log in meant not replying to comments, or to DMs from prospects.
Eventually, she got a templated response telling her to check the recovery number sent to her ex-husband’s non-existing phone number.
So she emailed Maria back who said:
Enlarge / At least they appreciate patience.Screenshot of Meta email
The next day, another email telling her to check the phone that doesn’t exist.
Now, though, a Meta rep named Matt asked her to send in a screen recording of her using the code on the phone number that (and just so we’re all following along here) does not exist.
A few days pass, and Maria is back saying she has now shared the issue with Meta’s "Respective Team."
Then, another email saying "We appreciate your patience while we work on your case. We just want to update you that our Dedicated Team is still working diligently on your case."
Then, a few days later, a new email. Could this finally be the answer? Could an actual human have read her issue with their eyeballs, understood the issue in their brain, and done something to help her?😉
The email suggested she try getting the reset code from the phone number that does not exist, and ended with "We'll now closed [sic] this ticket. Have a beautiful day and stay safe."
She emailed back begging them to just send the code to the verified email address on file. Problem solved. But they wouldn’t.
Instead, Meta support actually got a little snotty.
But she soldiered on and emailed again and this time Melissa replied saying she will forward the issue on to the Relevant Team!
"We'll not put your hard work to waste, we'll do our part by doing the best we can to have your issue resolved," Melissa said.
But the Relevant Team didn’t seem to have any more power than the Internal, Respective, or Dedicated teams.
Finally, today, a resolution. One that came not because Meta’s support team is good, but because Meta’s p.r. team is risk-averse.
I’m not a betting man, but I’ve got $5 saying there was in fact no system error and internally, nothing has changed.
Who’s with me?
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