By: Joe Brookes, Which50
Social media can be a valuable channel for organisations, but it needs to be approached the right way and many brands are getting into trouble, according to executives.
“It’s one channel that they have very little control over,” said Jodie Sangster, ADMA chief executive officer.
“Should something go wrong with the brand, the first place consumers go is to social media. That is then out there in the big wide world and everyone can see what’s happening between the customer and the brand,” she said.
Sangster’s comments were made in the third installment of the Which-50 podcast as part of ADMA’s brightest minds series. The episode takes a look at brands and social media, including some who recently got it very wrong.
Joining Andrew Birmingham is Trinity P3 chief, Darren Woolley and Pepper IT managing director, Ryan Shelley. The trio discussed how leading organisations utilise social channels and the need to be prepared for bad press.
Woolley said brands need to be aware the sharing of negative incidents is almost inevitable.
“Every customer is a potential journalist. We’ve all got mobile phones, we can all videotape what’s going on and social media allows you to spread that as quickly as possible.”
“Bad news spreads much better than good news,” he said.
This was no more evident that in the recent incident involving a customer being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight.
According to Woolley, the incident and how United handled it was an example of an “old school approach” to media of waiting and not admitting liability.
“The problem is they’re missing a great opportunity,” he said.
“You’ve got to be in the moment,” Woolley said, adding a front-foot approach of admitting fault and rectifying the issue is better suited to today's social media landscape.
The discussion then turned to the co-opting of social issues by brands, including Pepsi's recent unsuccessful attempt to tap into the spirit of revolution.
“Consumers are savvy,” said Peppe IT’s Ryan Shelley.
“People will go, hang on a minute, this isn’t about changing the world, this is about selling more brown fizzy drink,” he said.