At EBS Marketing we always advise that you fully think through your use of social media before you utilise it in your online marketing strategy. If you don’t, it can go badly wrong. We want to underline that point this week with what we can only call an ‘exercise in stupidity.’
Facebook is arguably the most popular social medium out there – it has over 500 million people worldwide at last count. This means that it makes a fantastic online marketing tool.
Think about it. You have such a wide audience that for the price of nothing at all, you can craft a status, video, fan page etc. that has the potential to reach 500 million people. The nature of the networking site also means that you can cheaply target your target audience and the authority of the site on Google means that it nearly always gets on page one for your search term, meaning more people will see it.
However it really is a double edged sword and if you misuse it as drastically as it was in the example we are about to explain, then not only can it destroy the message you are trying to convey in your online marketing campaign, it can get your profile deleted so that you can never use Facebook to promote yourself again.
Last year a page appeared on Facebook that suggested people doing vulgar things to soldiers – we won’t name the specifics – but it certainly wasn’t pretty and it was very offensive. It was reported last week that Facebook has removed the page in its entirety.
It’s important to note here that the page was actually left up at first – the social media platform said that it did not breech its policy. However after a notable outcry from the armed forces and from the BBC, the page was removed and the user’s details revealed to be fake.
Of course, the vast majority of people out there would never think that something so offensive is appropriate for Facebook, never mind an online marketing campaign, but it does teach us something about negative content. Often it’s allowed to remain online and this draws attention. It’s this negative attention that would be so bad for your online strategy.
If you learn anything from this exercise in idiocy, let it be that you should always carefully consider what you post online. You never know what your target audience could find offensive and it could damage your entire brand.