Do Damaged Brands Have More Opportunities In Social Media?

Do problems with your brand mean more opportunities in social media?

I spend a lot of time thinking about how companies can use social media tools to enhance their communications efforts.

  • Some involve a new take on traditional outbound or inbound marketing.
  • Some are conversational, building relationships rather than “selling.”
  • Some focus on customer service and solving pain points for people.

It occurs to me that to some extent, the effectiveness of two of the options above may depend on the state of your existing brand.

Caveat: This is by no means the only factor involved in this decision, which is why companies need to approach social media from a strategic perspective (with full consideration of multiple factors) rather than a tactical one.

If your brand is healthy and people generally think positive things about your organization, well-targeted communications along interruption and destination-based lines may be well received. However, if your brand has little equity and people are distrustful, it may be that you have more to gain from other social media approaches than healthy brands.


Because the bar is set low.

Angry customer on the phoneWooden corporations can benefit greatly from allowing some personality within their online activities. As I often say, people don’t want relationships with brands; they want them with people. (Note: I’m not talking about slick artwork and design; I’m talking about real people.)

Similarly, if your brand is on thin ice, online customer service improvements can be received with open arms. Peoples’ expectations are so low that just solving problems (essentially, taking them from a negative to a neutral state with the product/service) can have positive effects on your brand. Companies like Dell and Comcast bave benefited greatly from this approach.

As I noted recently, it’s when times are tough that you can differentiate your company.

What do you think? Do you think companies have more to gain from social media when their brand is suffering?

(Image: Shutterstock)

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.