How Twitter not destroys your brand

Twitter can not destroy brands. Brands can only do that themselves, by selling junk or treating customers badly.

A marginal proportion of the Dutch population uses Twitter (just about every communication person plus some nerds and lost enthusiasts), but the printed press in our country nevertheless keeps close tabs on everything that happens on this small corner of the www. Every self-respecting newspaper has a Twitter section and not a day passes by or reports a novelty on the area of social media.

Provision for hypes. Last week we had the Carglass riot, the queen riot and the Bert Brussen riot. Before that we could form an opinion about the dismissal of Cornald Maas. Twitter hypes with a positive flavor emerged this summer as well: Annemarie Appelman (@annemarieapp) searched for a job through social media in a fun and original way. A suggestion for every marketeer or PR person that needs attention badly: try to do something crazy with Twitter.

Besides being a thankful invention in the slow season Twitter has turned out to be fertile soil for ghost stories. Self-appointed social media gurus condemn every brand that is not (yet) a social media success story. Carglass for example has apparently suffered damage to their reputation because of the hoax of @NL_carglass.

Games? They make children aggressive. Social media? They ensure that society is becoming increasingly asocial. Twitter? It destroys your brand. Is the record jammed?

No, a brand can not allow itself to neglect social media completely. But hundred people that retweet #carglasssucks, will not completely destroy a brand. It is a jolly way of ‘let’s see if we can make this a trending topic’, and Carglass will not repair one less car window because of it.

Every medium seems to need some start-up time full of rejection and ghost stories about effects. Much like we have learned about television that it does not brainwash us and like most of us know that you do not immediately grab your weaponry after playing Modern Warfare 2, we are also learning that a failed Twitter joke will not immediately discourage the consumer to buy your products.

No matter how fun it is to ‘tease a brand’, like a destructive blogger says so strikingly, Twitter users will eventually grow out of games like this. Of course blogs and social media are still powerful channels and it is possible to really disrupt the image perception of your brand. But let’s be honest: you only have something to fear if you deliver really bad products or if you treat your customers as old dirt. And that was always the case.

Originally published by Maud Geerbex under the title “How Twitter does not destroy your brand”. Thanks for allowing us to reproduce it.