The Dark Side of Social: How to Respond When Things Go Wrong

At CCC, we’re big believers in the power of social media and the value that it can provide to your brand. However, you need to understand the darker side of social so you’re prepared for anything that could go wrong or reflect your brand in a negative light.

Velvet Heart Promoted Tweet

Velvet Heart was trying to promote its new arrivals for spring, not trend with a mass shooting.

Recently I was on Twitter and noticed the name of a nearby town trending (regionally). I clicked on the link to see why it was trending and discovered a mass shooting had occurred at a retirement village. (My thoughts and prayers are with this community during this difficult time.)

While scrolling through the feed, I saw a promoted tweet advertising a retailer’s new spring arrivals. I was included in the audience targeted in this campaign, so the tweet showed up in my feed — no matter what I was viewing at the time. The advertiser had no say where its targeted audience members saw its tweet. (For more on Promoted Tweets, click here.)

Last week, I saw a news story about a guy who blew his lower leg off while shooting a lawn mower packed with explosives. As usual, an ad played prior to the video on the news site where I watched it. AT&T didn’t ask for its ad to play prior to a graphic video, but that’s when I saw the ad and its brand.

“A brand can’t control the message in the way it once did but it can still have influence.” –Jeff Barrett, CEO, Status Creative

These examples both point to why some brands and companies are so afraid of getting social — loss of control. On social media, it’s impossible to control every aspect of the message about your brand.

I’m not trying to discourage you from joining the conversation — just the opposite, in fact. If you’re a part of the conversation, you can help guide its direction and speak directly to your online community.

What if I hadn’t known that advertisers don’t control where Promoted Tweets show up? A user may have tweeted the advertiser expressing her dissatisfaction that the company would try to profit off a tragedy. That’s why you need to be aware of all the possibilities before jumping into something like Promoted Tweets. You can respond to say that you only chose to promote a tweet to a targeted audience, and did not use a trending hashtag or phrase inappropriately. If you’re not active on a social platform where a discussion breaks out about your brand, you can’t help set the record straight.

“While you can’t control the conversation,  you can participate and give fans a firsthand account of what’s going on at your company.”

Don’t worry about controlling every aspect of the conversation about your brand. Be prepared and know what you’re doing before jumping into social media in general, or a specific area, such as Facebook advertising or Promoted Tweets. Have a plan, but be prepared to adjust it as necessary.

Social media may not be easy for brands, but it’s worth it. Getting social can start a conversation that takes your business to new heights!

Are you struggling with your social media strategy, goals or execution? Let’s talk. We’d love to help you join the conversation and shine the spotlight on your brand.

Getting social (day or night),
Jaime

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Facebook

Facebook is the biggest, baddest social platform on the planet. We’ve all heard the statistics: if Facebook were a country, it would have the third-highest population in the world, behind China and India. An average of 864 million people log in to the site daily. But what about the things you don’t know?

DYK? Facebook is the world's largest photo archive.

You may be surprised to discover the following:

Privacy Basics – For a company who’s been blasted for its privacy issues (deservedly so), Facebook has taken serious steps in the right direction. Privacy Basics makes it easy to know what others can see about you and how others can interact with you. Click on the padlock on the toolbar at the top of the Facebook site to run a quick Privacy Checkup or adjust settings.

Facebook's Privacy Checkup

Related reading: Online Marketing & Your Privacy: Can They Coexist?


Advertising Controls
 – Yes, the social behemoth has advertising, which you may love as a marketer or business professional and hate as a user. You can’t get rid of the ads, but you do have a say in what ads you see — which is good for advertisers and consumers. As a business advertising on Facebook, don’t you want those who are actually interested in your products and services seeing your ads? Learn more about how ads work on Facebook, including what control you have over the ads you see, here.

Long Term Outlook – While the social giant is constantly tweaking its features, several of Facebook’s moves in 2014 appear to be geared toward improving its offerings down the road. Virtual reality and drones for Internet access may not show up this year, but they do carry major implications for life and business in the (not-so-distant?) future. Who knows? We may train, work and play via virtual reality by Facebook in a decade or so.

Emoticons for Facebook

Emoticons – Considering that the word of the year in 2014 wasn’t even a word, we all need to understand the power of emoticons, even — gasp! — for business. Did you know you can use emoticons on Facebook via a laptop or desktop? Oh, and they’re free. 😉

File-Sharing Platform – Collaborating with long distance co-workers on a project? Share files privately via Facebook Messenger. Once you have a chat window open, just click on the Settings icon at the top (the gear), and choose Add Files from the drop-down menu. Quick and easy!

What’s your favorite little-known Facebook feature?

Which of the five items mentioned excite you the most?

If you haven’t connected with CCC on Facebook, join us! We love to share tidbits about marketing (including social media and writing), while having fun and holding giveaways too.

Your favorite Facebook page administrator,
Jaime

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