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Why Black Ops against SMART Free Internet will Backfire

On Friday, September 26, PLDT big boss Manuel V. Pangilinan or MVP announced that Smart, Sun, Talk’n Text, and Sun Cellular subscribers can avail of free internet services until November 30, 2014.

With the telecom company’s latest promo, about 66 million users can surf the internet, access their favorite social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram, and visit their favorite websites for free. Moreover, the free internet service allows subscribers to read and send emails, shop from online stores, and update their blogs through their smartphones running on Apple iOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone OS.

Through their press release, the telecom company announced:

“Through this special offer, all of the 66 million Smart Prepaid, Talk ‘N Text, and Sun Cellular Prepaid subscribers can use their data-enabled cellphones to browse through and post on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, (and) visit their favorites websites… all without incurring data charges.”

Black Ops on Twitter

Following the launching of the free offer, several suspicious-looking Twitter accounts started attacking the brand promo particularly by replying to Twitter users who mention the  keywords “Smart Free Internet”.

Needless to say, the people (or rather group) behind the accounts are on a mission to taint Smart’s latest promo.

Now, let’s take a closer look at these black ops on Twitter.

  • Fake Accounts– The first noticeable thing about the black ops is the suspicious nature of the Twitter accounts behind the operation. Account profile pictures usually feature attractive caucasian females. Another discrepancy you may observe on these profiles is the minimal number of followers and the people they follow. The number and frequency of tweets these accounts generate is also doubtful. Most of these accounts have generated 700 tweets with just a few followers.
  • Hashtag– Aside from the consistent bashing, the people behind this black propaganda also came up with a creative hashtag #liemorepa.  As an example, take a look at the screenshots of these accounts.

    Photo Credit:
    Photo Credit:

Why it will backfire?

This is not the first time such operation happened. Earlier this year, Smart partnered with Deezer, a premium music streaming service. This campaign was attacked using the same modus operandi but using the hashtag #HateSmart.

This strategy seems to be a desperate and tasteless way to bash competitors. Moreover, the auto-replies are more irritating rather than convincing. Obviously, the negative sentiments are fake and nobody is buying their drama. It is doubtful that this group can achieve their goal, and that is to discourage users from availing of the free service.

At the end of the day, users will choose the provider which delivers the best service. So what’s the best way to win customers? Capitalize on improving your customer experience, take advantage of positive marketing to increase your brand’s value, and “walk the talk”.

Written by mmalabanan

Mini is a work-at-home mom from Laguna. Aside from writing, she's passionate about breastfeeding and homeschooling.

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