We gave the “love” to Quickbooks in our last post, now we will slam them in this post – they have it all wrong when it comes to social networking.  In our little real estate industry, we find companies like RPR, Trulia, Zillow and many others have full time social networking people who are managing real engagement on blogs, social networks and twitter.  However, there are many companies who are taking the approach of what J.D. Salinger’s famous Holden Caulfield called Phony.

You see, Intuit is facing a major outage today – their massive number of websites and e-commerce solutions went dark last night, and they are still down.  Thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of consumers have been impacted (including our own, I might add). OUCH!  We have backup plans which rolled into action, thankfully.

Intuit has asked customers to check their small business blog and their twitter page for updates.  The blog is down, and the twitter page is being updated every 5 hours.  Oddly, the automated twitter posts from their clever twitter bot continue to sling out marketing messages during this tragic period of their company’s life.  Check it out.

intuit-twitter-failAs you can see, they updated their twitter page with a human only a few times today.  It says we are working on it, but does not define the problem or offer any indication as to when they will update the status.  Even if they do not know when they will be up again, at least they could be transparent about the issue, tell users what is going on, and offer to post an update every hour.

But look what else you see in the twitter feed….

“SEO question #2 for #smallbiz: How visible is your site in search results? http://dld.bz/gHS4 More athttp://Intuit.com/Toolkit

That is their social media bot – doing what it does – fake promotional marketing.  Surely someone would have the forethought to turn that off!

If you do a search for intuit on twitter, you will see comments of thousands of pissed off customers – many of whom are also getting automated “sales” letters to sign up for their services…..you know, the ones that are DOWN!

Really bad stuff, Intuit.

Here is something for real estate to consider.  If you are using an automated system, would you, or could you turn it off in a tragedy?  Say you get in a tragic car accident, or there is a terrible hurricane, flood or tornado in your area.  Will your perky newsletter for automated twitter posts go out?  Think twice about automation – if you cannot do it yourself, hire a professional to do it for you or don’t do it at all.  Nobody likes a phony – just ask Holden.