Millions of dollars are spent on social media to support brands. According to the survey, The CMO Survey Highlights and Insights February 2012, conducted by Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, 7.4 percent of marketing budgets are currently being allocated to social media where brand building could account for the significant increase in spending, as it has increased by 26.3 percent within just the past six months. As the financial resources are being spent, meeting branding objectives maybe difficult for some social marketers.
Why? Simply put, brands can be easily taken from corporate entities via social media thanks to one keystroke, the pound sign (#) . Case in point: Labatt Breweries.
As word got out about the beer company’s potential lawsuit against The Montreal Gazette regarding a picture on Facebook that was published of Luka Rocco Magnotta, individuals on Twitter hijacked the Labatt brand name and created the hashtag, “#newlabattcampaign”. Figure 1 is a highly influential tweet with the infamous tag as of June 6th, 2012.
From an online reputation management point of view, getting your brand hijacked via social media is the last thing that public relation and marketing professionals would like to deal with. Dealing with a situation similar to the #newlabattcampaign controversy is equivalent to fighting a fire that does not want to stop burning. As of June 11th, 2012, ugly tweets with the hashtag are still being sent.
What Can Brands Learned From Labatt’s Situation?
- It only take one individual to take an offline event to place it online via social media in a matter of seconds.
- Do not overreact when you brand is highlighted in the traditional media.
- A brand is not invincible. Individuals will make a mockery of your brand with a simply hashtag, in good and bad times.
- Analysts and bloggers will quickly highlight weaknesses in a company’s social marketing strategy.
- A brand does not belong to a company on social media. It belongs to those who wish to engage in conversation, for better or for worst.
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About The Author:
Ian is a content strategist and the competitive intelligence researcher at Intelegia. With his knowledge of social media tools and an understanding of branding on the web, Ian formulates content marketing strategies for clients’ needs. As co-author of the Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© and chief blogger at Intelegia, Ian documents and assesses global best practices of organizations’ approaches to social media marketing in terms of integrating their branding and communications strategies to obtain their marketing objectives. Follow Ian on Twitter @citweetz. __________________________________________________________________
Intelegia is a social marketing firm in Montreal, Canada. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.
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