Whether it’s updating our status’, checking our newsfeed, or simply stalking our favourite celebrities, a large proportion of us now use social networking sites on a daily basis. With over 1.1 billion users on Facebook and over 500 million users on Twitter globally, it’s hard to ignore the way social media has taken the world by storm.
Even those without accounts on social networking sites have become bombarded by its public presence, and growing numbers of businesses have begun to utilise its popularity as a marketing tool to connect with consumers. However, social media should still be approached with caution, after all, it grants individuals a platform where they can badmouth companies and publicise their negative branding experiences.
But fear not! If you are a business worrying about negative Twitter issues & PR, people’s gospel: “all press is good press” may still apply, even in today’s fast-paced, slander-heavy web age. The likes of the Kardashians and TOWIE cast members seem to support the notion that public awareness is the key to success, irrespective of whether it is achieved through negative or positive press. This can be applicable to social media marketing, where negative tweeting may be utilised by businesses as a way of making a brand relevant and “newsworthy”.
Simon Wallis, the marketing director of Domino’s Pizza, suggests that negative tweeting on Twitter can help brands by driving a “lot of interest”. His comment followed the Twitter backlash to the ITV show “Splash”, where the network was accused of “plumbing new depths” and “scraping the barrel”. Despite the terrifyingly low quality of “Splash”, the power of Twitter prevailed once more. The negative remarks only fuelled the public’scuriosity, and drove many to watch an episode just to see what all the fuss was about. And this is how Twitter can be used to drive a brand, negatively!
The show was thought not to reflect badly on Domino’s Pizza, because as a sponsor, Domino’s were
“Detached” and therefore felt very little detrimental effect despite name by association to the show. With 5.6 million viewers tuning in to watch the final, the brand could have done a lot worse in finding a platform to market them.
In suggesting that all press is good press, it’s important to remember that the internet has a memory which transcends geographical location and time. If a page, tweet or article gets a lot of traffic, links, comments and shares (as many negative publicity pieces do) it’s going to rank highly for a long time. This can mean that any negative press to a brandnever really goes away. It does however allow businesses to monitor what is being said about a brand and encourages them to be proactive and reach out to customers and critics alike. Get this positive, proactive outreach right and brands can redeem themselves and earn plenty of attention.So, the be all and end all? Well social media can be an incredible brand accelerator, where despite all the highs and lows, the connection between producer and consumer is immediate and extremely powerful.