There is little doubt that demolishing a brand reputation (which may have taken years of arduous work by a legion of staffers) in just a matter of seconds is not only a task which is easily accomplished on social media, but is actually widely practiced even by large brands which really should know better. In order to serve as a purely cautionary tale, here are the seven most effective ways to detonate your entire brand and watch it collapse faster than you can say “OhMyFreakinGawdI’mSooooooooooStupid.”
- Go off on political & belief tangents – Okay, you are firmly committed to the belief that the President of the United States is a closet Communist Muslim who was born in a suburb of Jakarta or Nairobi, so don’t hesitate to tie that into your attempt to engage your followers to buy your widgets. After all, making incendiary political claims which will surely alienate the majority of your customers is the best way to boost your bottom line… right?
- Be your own follower(s) – You’ve got a stack of computers in your office, plus mobile devices, your home PC, etc. so why not post from each in a different identity? That way you can praise yourself to high heaven, write your own glowing reviews and defend yourself every time some whacko out there accuses you of running a sweatshop in the Far East which chains seven-year olds to an assembly line in exchange for a bowl of rice a day.
- Copy & Paste your face off – Writing original content is a total bore and a waste of your precious time, so just go onto some brand page or another and copy their content, replace the keywords with yours, and blast away on your own social network presences. Most of your followers only scan your posts anyway, and some of them are only there to look at the pretty pictures since they’re so ignorant that they can’t read – so you’re not losing much.
- Don’t take any guff from anyone – There are lots of people on social media who spend their entire days doing little more than engaging in massive spraying of expletives, so give it back just as good as you get it. Show them that you can swear longer and more creatively than an Australian sheep shearer, and that anyone who messes with you is going to be told exactly what unnatural act they may engage in and where.
- Hijack every trending hashtag you can find – So you’re in the bilge pump business but that doesn’t mean that you can’t tie into everything notable that happens online. So tag #Hurricane when a storm hits to push your water pumps, #Shipwreck every time a cruise ship falls over which could be pumped out by your products and don’t forget to #JustinBieber anytime for any reason at all.
- Create posts which offend as many followers as possible – Chrysler got a lot of great publicity when an employee posted that no one in Detroit can bleepin’ drive, so follow their lead and insult as many people as you possibly can. Tell New Yorkers that they suck more than the NFL’s Jets, Seattleites that if you had to live in their constant drizzle you’d kill yourself and Arizonans that the sun has baked their heads to the point that they might as well seek annexation to Mexico and go snooze in a permanent siesta.
- Overshare – Don’t restrict your social network participation to boring old product information, tell your customers all about how your wife is cheating on you with the pool man, how that chipotle bean burrito affected this morning’s BM and don’t forget to tell them all about how you don’t trust banks and you keep all your money under your mattress: A little gem of information which will be particularly interesting to your IRS and burglar followers.
Follow these top seven tips and you’ll soon earn the bankruptcy you deserve!