Saturday, November 8, 2014

social media tonality

Brands ride on trending hashtags to gain views and interactions. Participating in a high-traction topic increases their chances of getting attention from people who wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to their social presence.

This has served brands well in many cases. Oreo's spontaneous response during the Superbowl power outage and, a little closer to home, KitKat Philippines' tweet while Facebook was momentarily down both impressed fans and drove global PR pickups.


But not every hashtag is appropriate for brands to participate in. The trades were abuzz when DiGiorno pizza tweeted using #WhyIStayed, tying it to pizza consumption without recognizing that the hashtag was actually being used by people opening up about why they had stayed in abusive relationships.

John Oliver took note of this and shared his very strong feelings that brands shouldn't try to participate in every possible conversation, and that most people don't want them in regular conversations:

DiGiorno's hasthag use was obviously a mistake an oversight that the company has apologized for. There are lessons to be learned about thorough hashtag research as well as troubleshooting to see if they might be hijacked by trolls and with the brand eventually included in a thread of unsavory messages.

That's common sense though. Should, per John O., brands just shut up online?

In the Philippines and I suspect many South East Asian countries consumers have a much higher openness to brands and branded conversations. In one focus group I did with lower-SEC moms they described billboards and Facebook social ads as sources of information on important product news to pay attention to. Our consumers don't hesitate to like brand pages and interact with brand posts. In which case I think it doesn't turn anybody off to see KitKat commenting on Facebook being down. After all, KitKat's consumers are experieincing the same thing and in that context it tells current and potential consumers that the brand knows what they're about, that it has a personality and that it can be witty and have a sense of humor.

Still, it will be worth it to measure if consumers feel like brands are putting their noses where they aren't invited or shouldn't be involved. And even in the open web, maybe brands need to self-restrict.


1 comment

Unknown said...

It’s a really nice blog about
Asian Online digital Advertising people just don’t seem to understand the importance, but your blog might enlighten them. Good job

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