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Is Social Media Overrated for Brands?

A lot has been written about how social media is impacting brands. Eventually that would mean that what gets written on social media should start to impact the company’s financial performance. However I wonder if there is a critical size that once companies achieve, they will have less to worry about social media? For these brands, social media, or rather bad publicity in social media is perhaps overrated. Now it doesn’t mean that they should stop ignoring what’s written but it is unlikely to impact them significantly.

I came across these tweets by Vir Sanhvi. Now Vir Sanhvi is a renowned journalist, writer and reviewer. He has 771K followers on Twitter. So he tweeting bad about a large telecom brand should mean something. Quite a few people joined him in lambasting the brand. 

So what impact will Vir’s tweets and other related tweets really have on this brand’s performance? In my view, absolutely none!!!

Not just this, there have been numerous other brands that have been bashed in the social media. They call these social media disasters. And don’t forget the recent Flipkart 1 Billion Day disaster. However, it doesn’t look like these disasters had any significant impact on the companies’ performance.

I think social media is a great vehicle to get a brand started. It’s great for a new and small enterprises. I feel social media can make a brand, not necessarily break one, at least not a really big brand.

I think at the end of the day, we all know that everyone has a bad day. Shit happens, as they say. Social media has just become an avenue for us to bitch about something or the other, and perhaps it is overrated in its power to alter businesses. The brands should focus on their products/services. The social media will take care of itself.


V Anand said...

I think what you've said at the end is absolutely true! But the one effect that SM has is that it is a great equalizer! So, a Vir Sanghvi with 71K followers will be one of many to criticize Voda, but when Voda ignores or when a sizable number criticise Voda, it will spell doom for the company.

BTW The good word spreading is a very effective outcome of SM. So, the reverse of what you say wouldn't hold true I believe!

Manish Mohan said...

I am actually not sure of the impact of bad word by Vir Sanghvi with 771K followers on Vodafone. Like I said, in my view, probably none. The brand is way too big and well entrenched in people's lives for this to have an impact. I am sure Vodafone is not ignoring the voice, but if Vir still wants to take his business elsewhere, it doesn't really impact Vodafone that much. If you also go through the link of social media disasters, you will see some very prominent brands having a really bad day. But they all survived and are doing rather well for themselves despite the disasters.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

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