Its no secret that everybody and their grandmother uses social media, and in turn that means everybody and their grandmother is effecting brands. Every time someone shares a link, or posts something on Twitter about a brand it is effecting it - positively or negatively. When somebody on your Facebook posts a song or video or link and you have respect for and admire their opinions, you will most likely check out the song/video/link and have a biased opinion on the posted item before the new window even opens - whether its good or bad. A good example of this was Sunday night. The Super Bowl half-time show feature Madonna and a various number of well-known artists that are popular at the moment. My first impression was “is this the theatrical version of The Lion King?” and a few people I spoke to a few minutes later had the same reaction. However, all sorts of celebrities and people I am linked to via social media were raving about how great her performance was. This made me reconsider my harsh automatic thoughts - I mean shes over 50, has an amazing body, and her dancing wasn’t as great at it usually is, but she was in six inch heels. Suddenly, I didn’t think it was the most awful performance and I no longer have a negative reaction when people talk about the half-time show.
When it comes to brands and products online, many companies attempt to get people talking about their brand, and this does not always work in their favour. A few weeks ago McDonalds tried to get stories about their company trending - but instead of people talking about how much they enjoyed the new coffee at McDonalds, or the delicious Big Mac they just enjoyed, people were writing about their McDonalds horror stories. This shows that often times, consumers do not like being told what to write about, and companies should refrain from encouraging social media users to talk about brands, and just provide positive resources for consumers to share.
The challenge with social media marketing for all brands, companies and organizations is that there will always be someone online with an opposite or negative opinion. There will always be someone who wishes to argue with what is posted positively about the brand/company/organization, sometimes just for the sake of arguing. However, if the opinions are false and not what most people agree with, the positive opinions will outweigh the negative and push down the negative results.