Oops She Did It Again

. Friday, January 30, 2009
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It seems there is no stopping social media and the power of the internet. Twitter is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate. Facebook is developing innovative ways to integrate the social network into other websites and even TV.

Because of this, more and more brands are jumping onto the social media bandwagon. It seems like a no-brainer for a brand to have a twitter account or page on Facebook, however if done incorrectly it can go horribly wrong.

Take the case of Brittany Spears. When it was announced that Brittany would be using Twitter, there was a huge buzz and many people started to follow her. It soon became obvious that this was not Brittany using Twitter, instead it was her PR people. This is a big no no in the social media scene. Especially automated direct Twitter messages. Brittany was quickly shunned by hardcore Twitter fans , and was even the victim of a Twitter hack attack. The plan to use Twitter as a means of creating buzz and publicity quickly backfired for the Brittany camp.

So what can we learn from Brittany's mistakes?

Say who you really are. Instead of trying to convince people that it was Brittany Spears using Twitter, just say you are Lauren Kozak, Brittany's social media manager. Would it have created as much media buzz? Probably not. Would it have got as many followers? Probably.

Keep it personal. Having a brand Twitter account is affective, however having a personal Twitter account is 10 times more affective. You can still be affiliated with a brand and promote what the brand is doing in a personal account. The most popular Twitter accounts are personal accounts, however the writers are constantly talking about their website or what their company is doing.

Transparency = Trust. Companies that try to hide things from consumers will almost always get burned. I am constantly reading about companies cutting costs by having automated social media accounts. This is not what Web 2.0 is all about. Trust is easily lost and increasingly difficult to earn. If you use social media the right way your brand can be one of the most recognized and successful in the world. Use it the wrong way and suffer the consequences.