Social Media: Risks and Rewards

I think since so many companies are having success with social media the decision of whether or not to take a brand social has gotten easier and easier. In the tech industry, personally, I think its a no brainer but thats not to say that there isn’t any risk involved. In this post I will discuss some of the rewards and pitfalls of adopting social media in my industry.

You will often hear me refer to my industry as the tech industry. For those who don’t know what it is, its simply the technology sector. Investopedia defines the technology sector as:

“A category of companies relating to the research, development and/or distribution of technologically based goods and services. This sector contains businesses revolving around the manufacturing of electronics, creation of software, computers or products and services relating to information technology.”

The cool thing about the tech industry is that its full of socially connected gen y-ers. This makes the decision to go social a no brainer. In order for marketers to connect with their audience they must go to where their audience is, luckily for tech marketers, their audience is already well adapted to social media technology. Seeing as how all the major social sites are free, the monetary risk is very low however if executed wrong, the risk of damaging your brand is high. The glory of the internet and social media is that it connects the world faster than ever before, the bad side to this is negative publicity can spread like wildfire. Unfortunately, people tend to pay more attention to the negatives than the positive things brands do.

One example of a tech brand struggling with poor social media choices is the cooking site Epicurious, which is a cooking website.  Following the Boston Marathon bombings they tried to capitalize and push their brand with a couple tweets. (Feloni, 2013)

After a major tragedy like that is not the right time to push your brand and Epicurious paid for it with a lot of negative responses. Social media marketers must have a good grasp on common sense and know their audience very well so they can predict how people will interpret and react to their social media communications

When done  correctly, social media can do wonders for brand awareness. One of my favorite campaigns was beautifully executed by a Belgian television company called Telenet . They launched a Youtube campaign back in 2012 to promote a new station they were offering simply titled “A dramatic surprise on a quiet square.”

This video quickly went viral and now has just under 50 million views on Youtube. Its hilarious, disruptive and conveys their message that TNT is coming and bringing drama to their network. Typically the rule of thumb with video’s is 30 seconds or less because people’s attention fades after that but this video is so outrageous, they are able to push that to almost 5 times the recommended length. This is a very elaborate example of social media success and isn’t necessary for all companies. Video is huge now a days in the social sphere and they don’t need to be as elaborate as this one to be successful. My company launched a series we call DynEdu which are short bits about general concepts in our industry of internet performance. They are simple to make and quick to execute. They do wonders for market education and really help us establish ourselves as though leaders in our space. Here’s one for example:

As you can see there are many different ways you should go social. Notice how I said “you should go social,” this is because in the tech industry it shouldn’t even be a debate. Your audience is highly connected with social media and its free. There is enough information out there for the newbies to read and learn what to post and what not to post. For the more seasoned marketers, it offers them a platform to be creative and connect with their customers on a more personal level. If you haven’t yet, give it a try! Start small, measure success and grow from there. And remember, the most important trait of a social media marketer is common sense, the more you have, the less risk is involved!

Feloni, R. (2013, November 21). The 10 Biggest Social Media Marketing Fails Of 2013 Read more: Http://www.businessinsider.com/10-worst-social-media-marketing-fails-of-2013-2013-11?op=1#ixzz2tvDfxd2X [Web log post]. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/10-worst-social-media-marketing-fails-of-2013-2013-11?op=1
Moth, D. (2012, December 3). 10 of the best social media campaigns from 2012 [Web log post]. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://econsultancy.com/blog/11244-10-of-the-best-social-media-campaigns-from-2012
Technology Sector. (n.d.). Investopedia. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/technology_sector.asp

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3 comments

  1. AJ,
    Your post was really interesting! I definitely agree that one of the risks of going social is the possibility that there can be damaging effects. I also believe that if a brand does not have social media, they could still face a lot of negativity from word-of-mouth which can be pretty powerful and spread just like a post on social media. Taking the consumer out of the equation and thinking about your post regarding Epicurious, this is a prime example of how companies could damage their own reputation with social media… this was a post in really bad taste! I would suggest that if a brand is going to go social, they really need to use common sense because a single insensitive posting can really harm the brand. Another example of this was done by Kenneth Cole, where they tweeted “Millions in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is that they heard our new spring collection is now available.” When running a social media account for a brand, it is extremely important that humor is really thought about before posting something that they may think is humorous.

    Great post!

  2. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.

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