Social Media – The Instant Brand Killer

With the increasing uptake of social media sites including Digg, Technorati, Slashdot, YouTube and MySpace, together with network bookmarking websites like Del.Icio.Us, Reddit and Ma. Gnolia, businesses internationally can attain their target markets thru a whole new channel.

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Social networking is like viral advertising on steroids. Companies can launch a new product inside the morning and have it mentioned with the aid of millions of users on heaps of websites by the afternoon.

The right information is that social media is consumer pushed. The terrible news is that social media is user pushed. Yes, there’s the rub. Users are fickle creatures – they are able to love a product one minute after which drop it like a lead balloon the following, depending on their revel in with the product, a rumor, or whether or not they have got had their morning espresso yet. And if their experience is horrific, the noise is commonly louder. To defend their reputations it is no longer just journalists that companies should impress these days. It’s everyone with a laptop and an Internet connection. Love it or hate it, the consumer network now has good sized energy over the net recognition of an organization or brand.

Not relatively, corporations and people alike clamor for the eye and usually enjoy the limelight that social media can carry. Others hate the intense scrutiny that frequently accompanies the recognition. An instance is usability blogger Kim Krause Berg’s ugly first experience of Digg – I Don’t Digg Being Dugg.

Online groups may even deliver a website to its knees. Marketers are calling it the “Digg Effect” or the “Slashdot Effect”. Buzz for a website can reason extra than accurate or horrific exposure. As Kim determined out, the impact can motive traffic overload occasionally resulting in site downtime and misplaced enterprise.

Social media can also kill the recognition of a brand immediately. Take the Microsoft Windows Vista Laptop Scandal for example. No stranger to the benefits of social media, Microsoft had allegedly tried to exploit the strength of the blogosphere at the give up of last year, via sending some of the A-list bloggers a free Acer Ferrari pc loaded with the yet-to-be-launched Windows Vista and Office 2007.

The pitch was a request for the bloggers to “evaluate” the brand new Windows software in their influential blogs. Many bloggers did write an overview, however, a few did not expose their free present. When this truth changed into discovered later, the bloggers were hammered via big quantities of the blogosphere for what they saw as a clear battle of the hobby. Microsoft has been tagged both literally and figuratively as bribers and Windows Vista become extensively panned with parody tag lines along with “Vista: So Bad We Had to Give it Away”. Not an incredible start to a web product launch.

Another example of the harm that social networking can do to a corporation’s online popularity is the National Pork Board of America’s current warfare with breastfeeding advise and famous blogger Jennifer Laycock. Jennifer changed into sent a harshly worded letter from the Pork Board’s representing recommend, threatening her with prison movement for allegedly stealing their pro-red meat slogan “Pork: The Other White Meat” in a pro-breastfeeding t-shirt she had designed that examine “The Other White Milk”.

The letter counseled that their case for trademark infringement turned into likely strong. Unfortunately for the Pork Board, the poorly-worded letter additionally counseled that they had been insensitive to breastfeeding mothers and the plight of starving babies. The Pork Board did not anticipate Jennifer’s have an effect on in the blogosphere and the power of social networking to carry her defiant response to the arena. The Pork Board ended up receiving baggage of hate mail and thousands of flame emails thru their online touch form, forcing them to issue a public apology to Jennifer from the Board’s CEO and a beneficiant donation to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio if you want to save face.

To their credit score, the Pork Board did the right factor. They additionally made positive that everyone human who complained approximately their method to Jennifer obtained a polite, measured email reaction from the CEO. As a former PR consultant myself, I tip my hat at them. Having the apology come from the very top is wise. It demonstrates how seriously they took the complaints. The wording of the complainant response is well mannered and restrained. Addressing each and every complainer in my view is surprising. It might’ve been tempting to disregard all the flames and problem a few inventory fashionable launch.

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Their preference of prison team may additionally be questionable, but the Pork Board’s public relations group mobilized quickly, upgraded to full harm manipulate mode and did a brilliant job of mopping up the PR mess before it unfolds to some distance. Social media would possibly have broken them, but the Pork Board’s popularity becomes ultimately salvaged by using short thinking and a swift online response.

Such situations underscore the developing importance of online popularity control (ORM) in our Web 2.Zero, social media-pushed world. Companies have to be tracking their online recognition on each day foundation to check for bad remark through social media as a way to preclude potential PR failures. Major search advertising and marketing players which include Andy Beal identified the capacity increase in ORM a long time ago. But I wonder what number of PR/Search Marketing companies presently provide this service?

Lee Hogan

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