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Media Monday: Use social media but with caution!

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No. This discussion is not about me or you. It’s about big brands, brands which seem to be in a social media war in getting more number of followers/fans over Twitter/Facebook. The problem usually arises when Big companies hire other marketing firms to handle their social media instead of asking their own marketing team to do that.

Tablets and Bottle

In a recent study by Brent Coker of the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Business and Economics, it was understood that social media makes consumers ‘wiser’. This is because people are more likely to read online reviews before making a purchase than to naively believe advertising claims of having the best product. This disconnect is usually because big brands are still in the mindset that traditional media advertisement is the best way to market any product. This may be true, but a presence over social media in such case also make these companies vulnerable to immediate outburst in case of any service/product malfunction.

If you remember sometime back Cafe Coffee Day became a victim of similar social media outburst when some Chennai Twitter users faced a rude response from CCD manager. The manager asked for some cover charges to be paid if they wanted to use CCD for a tweetup event. Immediately after that Twitter users started tweets like- #CCDSUCKS, ‘CCDsucks @cafecoffeedat at Isphani center is kicking twitter out.. #ccssucks’ etc. But CCD was pretty active and they gave a prompt response saying that they don’t have a policy to charge a Cover. The situation was handled well.

If big brands are at an advantage of getting huge followers over social network, there is also this big disadvantage- Negative buzz spreads much faster than anything positive :). Although this is a huge advantage for consumers like us, as its almost impossible to sell bad products/services just by spending huge money on advertisement.

The report also reads:

“Open ended questions and analysis found that people resented the disliked company for making an otherwise great ad, and trying to convince them they were good, when people really didn’t like the company in the first place,”. “When asked why they rated the brand as they did, the overwhelming response was due to evaluations they had read online in social media forums. If a company is already disliked, good advertising can actually ‘go bad’. Spending thousands to turn things around may actually just make things worse.”

Hence if you are a business and have a good brand value, do a research first regarding all pros and cons of joining social network and its ill effects on your company’s image in case something goes wrong. What say?

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