Popular Social Networking websites like Facebook and Twitter are being used by consumers to make purchasing decisions and to discuss, inform, and share about the latest products and services.

Those companies that choose to ignore the mass chatter online are putting their business and their reputation at risk.

Earlier this year a very well-known soft drink company created an iPhone application to promote a new energy drink product. The application provides tips for the products target audience, young men, to ‘pick up’ with women.

The promotion was not well received and consumers reacted by voicing their dismay on various Social Media sites. The soft drink company eventually withdrew the iPhone application and apologised, but the situation points out how vulnerable brands can be because of Social Media.

In another recent example, two popular Pizza franchise employees created what they thought was an amusing video of some “un-hygienic” activities back in the kitchen. They posted the video on YouTube and had nearly a million viewings before they knew what hit them.

They were able to get the video shut down for “copyright infringement” and officials of the Pizza franchise pursued both legal and online responses.

They set up a Twitter account to field comments on the matter, and have since been morphing that traffic into their Twitter account where they are aggressively running contests and providing other information to undo the damage and rebuild their online reputation.

These two examples clearly shows that:

  • Social Media can have a massive effect to your Brand Reputation;
  • You can’t ignore the online chatter;
  • Social media is a fast way to get your message out;
Download the free “Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Managementwhitepaper from Gary Levine on our dedicated Whitepapers download section and learn how to Monitor and Manage Online Brand Reputation.

Gary Levine is a Certified Internet Marketing Consultant with extensive skills and experience in SEO and Social Media Optimisation.