Five things that are suicidal for brands on social

Responding to trolls, spamming, lifting content, reacting to critics & focussing on only selling are things that brands should steer clear off

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Jul 9, 2013 8:18 AM
Five things that are suicidal for brands on social

With the advent of social media marketing, dialogue on communication activities is just a matter of instant observation and correction now. In this process, social media brands often end up digging more trouble for themselves. This is because most brands are still experimenting with social media strategies and there is no fool-proof blueprint for doing it right. However, there definitely are things that should be completely avoided.

Keeping this in mind, exchange4media looks at five things that a brand should never do on social media if it wants to keep its image intact...

Brands shouldn’t go out of their way to engage with people at the cost of irritating them. A brand cannot keep posting data or target to create trend impressions often. Instead of focussing inactive accounts, marketers should just accept the fact that there is some spam mixed on every online platform. A brand can understand about its right set of audiences by using the right tools. Once a marketer, with the help of its agency, gets to know its real audiences, it can then send out the right amount of information to the right set of audience.

Lifting content
It is important that brands generate original content. Brands often look at creating shortcuts on social media. Many brands don’t give enough thoughts to the content strategy. Adding local and personal flavour to communications on social can be a good idea. Brands should start focussing on customising content for each of their social media platforms. Social media is just like any other communication vehicle, where content is the king. A user will log on to a brand’s social media platform only if the brand projects itself in a different style that is appealing. Using stale content will create a bad impression of the brand, and will thereby be a victim of bad publicity.
Focussing only on selling
Social media is all about conversation. If a brand does nothing but sell, it won’t be long before the brand is selling to no one. The brand’s social channels will quickly become ghost towns if it is not making an effort to engage. Social selling is a tricky process, and needs to be approached carefully. If the brand is using its social media communication for selling to anyone and everyone, it is better that it shuts its social presence because all that the brand is doing is wasting its own time.

Responding to trolls
The proper way to deal with a troll first demands knowing how trolls work. Usually a troll against a brand happens from upset customers. These troll creators want other people on the social community to take the bait to their scandalous comments. Arguing with a troll is like adding fuel to fire. The more intensely a brand retorts, the more it will fuel the troll's efforts. Therefore, a brand should not give these trolls any sustenance and take it like a pinch of salt and move on.

If a brand feels the need to respond to a critical comment, what it should do is ‘wait’. Critical comments are personal and understandably can hurt the brand’s sentiments. In the process, if the brand responds when it is not ready to respond, it will more likely make the situation worse. An aggressive reaction can spoil the reputation of the brand. A user will be put off with a brand’s insensitive move. A brand can always get back to the user’s comment strategically. Not responding again is not a wise move.

There are many ways a brand can give its products a personality and be transparent, which will overall increase likeability and loyalty on social media. As with any social media tactic, it can take a trial and error approach, and not everything will work for every brand. Brands shouldn’t be afraid to attempt different things, but not at the cost of making a mockery out of its activities. We look forward to see how brands sustain and handle communication on social media in the coming days.

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