You may or may not have heard about the NYPD Twitter Outreach FAIL. For some odd reason, somebody in NYPD PR thought that it would be a marvelous idea to ask people to post photos of themselves with officers using the hashtag #myNYPD. This resulted in an influx of photos of police brutality from not only NY, but nationwide. Yikes!
This goes back to our post about Social Media Etiquette. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to, or, in other words, don’t ask questions you aren’t prepared to answer. Rule number one of marketing is brand knowledge. You can’t market a brand you aren’t fully knowledgeable about….well you can, but you will most likely fall on your face.
Here are some tips to help prevent you from making the same mistake that NYPD made:
- Learn your brand. Not just what you perceive your brand to be, but what your target market perceives it to be, as well. NYPD attempted to highlight the positive of NYPD, but failed to realize that the NYPD brand had already created quite a notorious name for itself in terms of police brutality. From a marketing standpoint, NYPD stands for “Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect,” but unfortunately its public strongly disagrees. If NYPD’s PR department had realized this or cared about this, they would have known that they needed to repair the brand’s image prior to promoting it.
- Be Proactive. Google Alerts allows you to enter a search query you’d like to monitor and receive constant email updates when that search query appears in the latest Google results. This is an awesome opportunity to stalk yourself. You can monitor your name, the name of your business, and your industry to stay on top of everything that arises. This way, if there is any negativity surrounding your business, you will know about it and be able to strategize a way to handle it before it blows out of proportion. Issues are like a mysterious rash appearing on your body; it could be a simple allergic reaction curable with Benadryl or it could be something serious and life-altering. The only way to find out is to investigate. With today’s internet reliant technology, your customers are for sure doing their due diligence and researching you. It is in your best interest to research yourself, as well and stay on top of it!
- Face issues head on. Don’t cower and hide or ignore the fact that issues exist. This will only allow them to fester. Sh*t happens! Regardless of what you do or how kickass your brand is, there will most likely be someone somewhere at some point who has something negative to say… and this is outside the trolls who are just busting your chops and being Debbie Downers. It’s frightening, but it’s the truth! Unfortunately, for NYPD, they have a whole angry mob of people who have negative things to say… and show, (Eek!) but they were not prepared to handle it. This is why need to constantly be aware of your brand.
Social media marketing is scary. You have to step down from your brand pedestal and interact with your uncontrolled public, and trust, they will not hesitate to tell you exactly how they feel about your brand. That’s not the part that matters, though, and a lot of brands miss that point and resort to deleting negative comments or staying behind the glass window. What matters is how your brand reacts to the negativity and whether or not you display that you care. If you brush it off and act like it doesn’t matter, you prove your public right, but if you grow a pair and face the issues head on, your public will respect you and your brand will improve. Remember, your brand is nothing without the people.
What displays of total social media epic failure have you seen from brands. Please share in the comments below or on Twitter and include links if you can find them. We love interacting with you guys!