How the conduct of Social Media Users can affect Brands

Share with friends

Just over a week ago, Twitter made an announcement that its UK users would see the addition of a 'report abuse' button, allowing users to flag posts that they deemed offensive. Not exactly a revolution in Social Media technology but a timely announcement
The announcement was prompted by a string of offensive and abusive threats aimed at Caroline Criado-Perez who had successfully campaigned for women to be included on UK banknotes. Ms. Criado-Perez was not the only Twitter user who found themselves on the receiving end of a series of misogynistic attacks as opportunistic and predominantly faceless, nameless users, collectively known as 'trolls', hijacked conversations, creating hostility with threats of rape and murder. Historian Mary Beard, Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, Independent columnist Grace Dent, and Europe editor of Time magazine Catherine Mayer were among the women who came under threat.
Senior Director of Trust and Safety at Twitter, Del Harvey moved quickly to respond to intense criticism following the string of highy-abusive threats by saying: "We are committed to making Twitter a safe place for our users." Harvey's statement also included the announcement of the "in-Tweet report" button, designed to help combat Twitter misconduct.
In truth, this 'in-Tweet report' button is just one step on a long road to recovery for the credibility of Social Media, something that has been further damaged by the week's follow-on events.
Brands pull advertising from
While does not have the same global esteem as Twitter, it is a website that has grown immensely since its foundation in 2010. Originally, the Latvian-based Social Networking site was set up as a rival to Formspring but it has outperformed its rival in terms of traffic over the past three years, earning a huge following, particularly young people. It enables users to communicate with other users by inviting questions. However, users can also remain anonymous when asking questions, a feature of the website which has come under intense scrutiny in the past.
This week saw brands such as BT, EDF Energy and Specsavers pull advertising from the social media site after it was linked to the suicide of cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith. Hanah Smith's grieving father spoke out about the anonymous nature of which allows offenders to escape scrutiny and exposure. It is only through the 14-year old's tragic death that users, the media and many advertisers have had an eye-opener in relation to the nature of the controversial site.
Save the Children and The Sun also pulled advertising from the popular sit, while Vodafone UK is in the process of investigating whether its advertising has appeared on recently after claims that its media agencies had also recently stopped placing ads on the site.
This brand exodus should come as no surprise really, considering the nature of the tragic situation. But it begs the question of brand motivation to advertise on in the first place. Sure, it has high traffic rates and is popular among a certain demographic but the nature of the site, quite tragically exposed through these recent reports suggests quite a few brands were not entirely sure of what they were getting into in the first place.
Social Media as a marketing platform can be entirely unpredictable. It requires constant monitoring and a deep understanding of your chosen channel. That understanding should run deeper than simple metrics like traffic or user demographic. Users make connections between brands and symbols that are placed side by side. If your business appears regularly on a particular social channel or in certain search results, you are automatically connected to that channel or that search term in the eyes of the user. In essence, that's why businesses put so much stock in content creation and keyword research; when you get it right you can build credibility and trust. When you get it wrong, you could end up being pigeonholed.
Smaller businesses and B2Bs are unlikely to align themselves publicly with a brand like, but this story demonstrates the pitfalls of choosing advertising purely on usage or demographic statistics. Each social channel has it's own personality, it's own public image and each carries a risk.
When you create a social media marketing strategy, you need to consider your own goals and desired brand image and compare that to your chosen social channels. If your goals aren't reflected by the public image of the social network, you need to ask yourself what value you can get from that network. You may not need to rule it out entirely, but your focus should always be on the locations you're happy to promote. Pushing your message across every channel that has a bit of traffic may lead to problems. Expecting the unexpected is a must. So too is preparing for it.
With Twitter now coming under fire, Businesses must be wary of how the conduct and activity of users can have a knock-on affect on them and their status. Even if your brand has no direct involvement in the dark side of a social network, you can wind up being tarred with the same brush. Tread with caution and there's little stopping you from optimizing your Social Media presence.

B2B EGypt

We provide you with a group of services that guarantee best added value to your corporate,website,company classification,system.Through proffessional experienced team members.


Post a Comment

© 2009 Articles. All rights resevered. Designed by B2B Egypt