ADOTAS — Chances are, if you’ve been anywhere near a computer, TV, newspaper or magazine in the last couple months, you’re more than aware of the ongoing Amanda Bynes’ meltdown on social media. At first glance Amanda’s newfound bizarre and offensive social media presence may seem alien and unrelatable – but, upon closer inspection, this social media disaster sheds light on some universally important social media lessons – whether you are tweeting on behalf of a company’s brand or your own personal brand.
Don’t Insult Your Competitors
Amanda Bynes recently took to Twitter to insult a number of fellow celebrities. This may seem inapplicable to the business world, but like Amanda, many brands are guilty of using social media as an outlet to speak negatively of their competitors brands, products or services, in an effort to promote their own image and knock down their competition.
While there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, publicly insulting your competitors paints your brand as petty, rude, and unprofessional – not a very favorable image – and people don’t want to do business with brands they don’t like or trust.
The social media interactions between competitors Oreo and Kit Kat are a prime example of brands getting it right. Recently, a fan tweeted at both stating of her fondness for chocolate – Kit Kat responded with a tweet to Oreo with the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game to compete for the fan’s affections. And to the delight of their followers, Oreo tweeted back with a humorous and playful response.
Whether she’s sharing a video or selfie, one thing we know for sure is it’s going to be poor quality, bizarre, and taken in her bathroom.
Share high quality, appropriate and relevant images and videos that aren’t confusing to your community – your content is reflective of your brand’s image, so, the higher quality, the better. Surprising your fans and going against convention can be very well received, but if the video seems a little ambiguous or out of place without context (like Amanda’s famously bizarre bathroom video), then you will just confuse your audience and your message will be lost.
Fiat’s mom-rapping music video, “Motherhood”, is unconventional, honest and gritty, and the language and content wouldn’t make it onto a regular TV commercial, but it is relevant, humorous, and has been widely shared, and viewed on YouTube over 4 million times!
You Can Be Transparent Without Announcing Everything
Amanda Bynes has recently tweeted some very strange and personal information. This is an extreme example – but in terms of social business, many brands are unsure where to draw the line when it comes to “absolute transparency”.
Transparency is crucial – companies that aren’t transparent are at risk of damaging their reputation and losing all credibility. However, it is possible to be transparent with your community without sharing every little detail. Make sure you and your team are fully aware the type of company information that should and shouldn’t be shared.
Ford is a company who knows exactly what type information needs to be shared with complete transparency. When Ford’s legal department sent out cease and desist letters to forum owners using Ford trademarks, as the story spread, details were twisted and changed and as a result some people were very upset. Scott Monty (Ford’s community manager) was quick to find out what happened and let Ford’s community know the true story and updates on the steps they were taking to fix the issue and come to a compromise.
Think Before you Tweet
This may be seem like a rule that should go without saying, but behind every brand’s Twitter handle, there is a person (or people) with emotions, and criticism isn’t always easy handle. Like Amanda Bynes, many brands have damaged their reputation by lashing out or responding emotionally to criticism online.
A very extreme brand example of this is Amy’s Baking Company, who has recently been featured on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares – he dropped them half-way through as they were too hard to work with – and they have been in the spotlight ever since, for lashing out in response to criticism on their social media channels.
DKNY recently found themselves in an online situation that could have escalated and created a potential crisis for the brand. However, it didn’t – the company was accused of using stolen photos in a storefront window, and the photographer called them out on a facebook fan page – DKNY provided a tactful, polite and honest response before the issue escalated.
Source: Synthesio Blog.