Reputation Changer: Social Media’s Impact On Reputation

Impact On ReputationOne strategy used by online reputation management firms like Reputation Changer is building social media profiles for clients. Social media profiles provide a positive biography and information for businesses and individuals. But in some cases, a social media campaign can actually do more harm than good. This is especially true if the client uses their profile in an inappropriate way or if they do not think the use of social media through first.

A marketing campaign on social media can also cause a lot of damage, as McDonald’s learned the hard way in January of 2012.

Reputation Changer: McDonald’s Hashtags Gone Awry

The McDonald’s plan seemed logical enough. The company bought the hashtag #McDStories, expecting people to tweet about positive experiences they had at the fast food chain. Instead, Twitter users tweeted negative stories, about diabetes, getting sick, and other unmentionables.

The story of the McDonald’s hashtag took the Twitter and the media world by storm, just not in the way McDonald’s had hoped. The negative stories were re-tweeted by many, increasing their popularity. McDonald’s got attention; it was just of the wrong sort.

Reputation Changer on How to Handle Social Media

Of course, the McCatastrophe could have been headed off if the company had thought for a few moments. Reputation Changer notes that a lot of companies think that social media is the magic bullet when it comes to reputation management and promotion. The magic bullet idea means a lot of companies don’t actually think through their marketing plans, resulting in a McDisaster of negative tweets.

Here are just a few things that could have turned the Twitter campaign into an online reputation management success:

  • Choosing a less vague hashtag. Asking people to share their stories left the company open to stories of any sort. If they had chosen a hashtag such as #Imlovingit or something that was clearly positive, they may have nipped any negativity in the bud.
  • Recognizing issues people may have with the company. Any successful social media campaign recognizes the negative perceptions some people may have of the company and attempts to change those perceptions. McDonald’s allowed the perceptions to continue and proliferate.

Reputation Changer: Other Ways to Protect Yourself on Social Media

The McDonald’s mistake is just a highly visible example of social media marketing gone wrong. There are many other ways social media can work against you if you are not careful. One example is posting information that is deeply personal. Another is responding to feedback in a way that is confrontational. For example, you won’t do much for your reputation if you snap back at customer’s wall posts or leave nasty comments.

The Reputation Changer experts remind clients about the importance of dividing work and personal in social media. If you have two social media profiles, one for your personal use and one for business use, it’s important that you do not mix the two up. The Reputation Changer team notes that people inadvertently post or tweet personal information from a business account quite often. To prevent a PR disaster like McDonald’s, it’s important to either monitor your accounts or hire an ORM firm like Reputation Changer to do it for you.
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