We’ve all been there. After a fight with a friend you spy in your newsfeed a passive-aggressive status update or a venomous blog entry, or a stinging Tweet. You struggle over whether or not to respond with an equally scathing remark or to be the bigger person and just eat some ice cream. While this type of behavior is accepted among college and high school students it is usually frowned upon in corporate situations. Or so I thought.
Today I read an article in Engadget that suggested that those in the corporate world are not safe from social media squabbles. Google executive David Drummond started it all when he published a blog post claiming that there was a concerted effort to eliminate the Android being headed by some of technology’s biggest players. The most notable companies mentioned were Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. Apple and Oracle took the high road and didn’t comment but Microsoft cried out “Oh no you didn’t!”. Well actually they responded by bringing up the fact that Google did at one point have the opportunity to engage in a joint bid on the disputed Novell patents Drummond was referring to. And then Google was all “Say what now?”. Drummond amended his post saying that if Google had done what Microsoft was suggesting they would have had no protection against Microsoft’s attacks on the Android. But Frank Shaw of Microsoft was, as they say, having none of that mess. He took to Twitter and Tweeted about how Google had rejected the idea of sharing the patent which would have saved them both a lot of trouble (and online griping).
These guys should take it outside. And by that I mean that they shouldn’t be touting their legal woes all around the internet. One of the main reasons that companies are encouraged by their marketers to have social media pages is so that they can communicate with their customers. Let me restate that, so that they can communicate professionally with their customers. If Drummond wanted to whine about how mad he was at Microsoft for being a big ol’ bully he should have done it on his personal blog not on Google’s corporate blog. This is where the press and consumers go for information on Google’s current activities not to read Drummond’s rants. Let’s just take a look at this blog post (linked above). Drummond begins this post by saying “I have”. This indicates that this post was written by an individual and is one person’s opinion. This seems really unprofessional coming from a huge corporation.
But this isn’t all Google’s wrong doing. Microsoft should have taken the hint from Apple and Oracle’s silence and just played it cool. Instead, they decided to fight fire with fire. Now not only does Google look super whiney and unprofessional but Microsoft looks just as bad. In short: before you hit the publish button on your company’s social media page make sure that this is something that your company as a whole agrees with not just your own personal tirade.