How HostGator, Bluehost & HostMonster Responded To A Network Outage via HootSuite

Early this morning, my sites were down and after a bit wondering as to what could be going on, I put it down to a hosting issue. I took to Twitter to investigate and lo and behold, not only HostGator (Ninetynine Ways’ hosting provider) but Bluehost and HostMonster were experiencing outage issues. The issues were put down to something having gone wrong with their server maintenance and the reason why all three providers were down is because they are all divisions of Endurance International Group.

As you can imagine, the massive outage lead to a number of people taking to social media to not only find out what was going but to vent as well! Apart from status updates on the outage, this put the hosting providers in a position where they had to make a decision on how to respond to customers on Twitter.

All three brands took a different approach with how they went about dealing with customer queries, complaints and feedback which is outlined as follows:

Bluehost Responses

Bluehost chose to use unique responses to address customers and they even responded to those who were very open about exactly how they felt and had tweets that were just swear word upon swear word. Here are examples of a couple of their responses:



HostMonster Responses

HostMonster seemed to have used a mix of unique responses and drafts that have been slightly edited to suit, such as:



HostGator Response

For the most part, HostGator took a different approach and chose to respond with the following draft tweet:


All of the providers chose a different method through which to respond to their customers with regards to the outage. Regardless of how they went about it, the main thing is that they RESPONDED. From a customer point of view, this shows ACKNOWLEDGMENT of the issue and in this case, that something was being done to fix it. Responding would have gone some way in damage control, so to speak, and eased any thoughts of “jumping ship” that may have crept into the minds of customers.

It just goes to show the importance of not only monitoring social media but also being able to use it efficiently and in a manner that serves customers in the best possible way. As a business on and using social media, it would be quite challenging to do social via the native interfaces provided by Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on.

This is where social media management tools such as HootSuite and Social Sprout come into play. All of the providers mentioned above use HootSuite. This tool may have made handling the crisis tweets more manageable because of everything that it has to offer which includes setting up draft messages such as the ones sent out by HostGator. Yes, someone would have had to have been there to respond, but the existence and proper use of available tools made the whole process manageable.

Morale of the story, if you are a business using social media, make sure that everything is set-up to make the most out of its social media efforts and to be able to react appropriately and efficiently in a crisis.

Here is a short video outlining how ING DIRECT is using HootSuite (Click here to sign-up for a FREE 30 Day HootSuite Pro account) to connect with their clients on social media.

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply