Every now and again I’ll come across a brand campaign on Twitter or Facebook that makes me do this. Not because it’s awesome, but because it’s bad. Very very bad. I find it hard to understand how there are still so many businesses out there that fail to to create a basic social media strategy before they launch a channel/activate a campaign.
In this instance I’m pulling the ‘OH NO THEY DIDN’T’ face at BittyLab. Little Britain puns aside (Google that if you don’t get it), their recent tweets have caused an uproar across Twitter.
Of course, following outrage comes apology. Except in this instance an apology whereby Bittylab cleverly accuse their consumers of ‘turning everything into sex’. Because clearly, being pissed off at their message that men should reclaim their women is all down to society’s issue with over-sexualisation. Insert eyeroll.
Tip 1: Do not apologise unless your apology is sincere
Tip 2: Have a crisis process in place BEFORE you activate your social channels
Tip 3: SPELLCHECK!
So where did Bittylab go wrong? Besides the clear and obvious insult to all women everywhere (note: women are not objects, my tits belong to me, and if my other half ever tried to compete with my baby he’d be out on his ass before he could say ‘nipple’), quite simply, they did not understand the considerable power of social media. They did not invest the time required to create a well thought out and sanity checked strategy based on research. Lots and lots of research. One of the most important stages of a great strategy is delving into the minds of the target consumer and asking “Will they identify with this message? Will they be offended? Will it make them laugh? Is it interesting? Is it relevant?”.
Sadly some brands omit this stage completely, either though lack of understanding or unwillingness to invest the money in people who know what they’re talking about. Sometimes the entire strategy is bypassed and social channels are used to push messages as an ‘add-on’ to an existing marketing plan.
I cannot stress how big a mistake this is. This is how sexist, prejudiced, or downright stupid tweets end up out there for all to see. When used for good, brands can leverage this influence and use it to push their message far and wide, but when it all goes wrong, well, take Bittylab’s experience as a warning. Not all publicity is good publicity in the era of social media – negative sentiment hangs around a hell of a lot longer and it’s not so easy to ignore an issue when consumers have such a loud, influential and insistent voice. Yes, Bittylabs Klout score will be through the roof this week, but their online reputation is in tatters. Brands, take note. Don’t let the next social media fail be yours.
Agree/disagree? Tell me why.