Brands and ‘Anti’ Social Media Campaigns

Posted by on Mar 7, 2012 in Campaign, Social Media | No Comments

AMC Creative // Anti Social MediaMany firms see social media as a ‘golden pill’ for their marketing ails. Westpac, Qantas and now Woolworths have all recently been given an online slap in the face, that makes that makes that same pill very hard to swallow.

What most firms fail to realise when they embark on their social media adventure, is that they are initiating a dialogue with a relatively unknown audience. So they’ve ‘liked’ your Facebook page or they’re following you on Twitter. This doesn’t meant they actually like you or are simpatico with your brand’s values and aspirations. Even if they really are your friends, not everyone is going to have the same vision or opinion. There is a simple lesson here:

Don’t underestimate the cynicism of your audience

If you can’t predict the type of response or define the direction the dialogue can go, then you need to seriously consider whether that tweet or post is such a great idea. Many firms seem to operate in a social media vacuum, unaware of what’s going on around them. In the case of Woolworths, they only needed to read the front page of any newspaper to realise there is a major and negative debate going on right now that could easily (and did) hijack their campaign.

Many firms have been calling their social media exploits ‘experiments’, but come on, seriously. Are they doing it for altruistic reasons, or to create more brand recognition, a deeper connection with their target market and ultimately drive sales? It’s obviously the later, so why take the risk that the campaign could have the complete opposite effect and leave them scrambling to manage the crisis. Some of the recent howlers are so obvious that it defies belief that nobody spotted where it could all fall down.

The point of this article isn’t to advise closing down your social media accounts and unsubscribing from Mashable, rather to better understand the platform/technology, ensure your tweets/posts are relevant and part of a bigger plan, and above all be prepared for the dialogue that follows. If you can’t do this then stop, or let someone else do it for you.

Here is some further reading from the SMH:

Woolies’ ‘finish this sentence’ howler
Qantas sorry for ‘racist’ tweet
Computer says no: Qantas rapped for bad social media service

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