Social Media Brand Posts: Beware of the “Butterfly Effect”…
Mind your brand reputation
Today, one misjudged tweet can have disproportionately punishing effects on a brand’s global reputation. It can precipitate your organisation into sudden crisis mode, and quickly explode into the ultimate international marketer’s headache.
The international condom maker Durex experienced this first hand. To differentiate itself, the brand’s communication tends to be edgy and humorous across all its markets. But when one of their – presumably unchecked – local social media moderators in South Africa crossed the line into distastefulness, outrage rippled across geographies.
Here is the tweet:
Following protests by individuals and women’s rights organisations around the world, Durex headquarters was forced to recognise the backlash and make not one, but a series of public apologies.
Social media is a huge opportunity for international brands, but without the right local market protections, every unchecked post from any country has the potential to trigger a “butterfly effect” – where a flap of the wings on one side of the earth provokes a typhoon on the other.
In the words of business guru Ryan Lillyguru: “a brand, once local and temporal, is now global and forever. That’s the blessing and the curse of the internet with regards to your reputation.”