Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Digital Media, E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing

Brands Must be Social Media Selfish

Are you protecting your social media brand?

I was followed on Twitter last night by @trynetflixfree As a long-time Netflix member, I clicked the link to determine whether I should follow back. Much to my surprise, @trynetflixfree is a Netflix affiliate, trying to drive new subscribers via banal appeals on Twitter.

TryNetFlixFree Brands Must be Social Media Selfish

I don’t begrudge the affiliate marketing industry. From the days that amazon.com launched its first program, affiliates have driven a major portion of the growth of e-commerce overall, and I’ve established and managed many affiliate programs for clients.

But, social media is different. If you concur that the prime directives of social media involvement are authenticity and helpfulness, you cannot allow affiliates to engage in actions that run counter to that spirit.

Social media is not search, where consumers expect to find multiple, similar search returns that may represent what they’re seeking or a reasonable alternative.

Other than widely publicized “spoof” accounts like Shaquille O’Neal on Twitter, the expectation is that most branded social media outreach efforts are managed by the actual brand (or its agencies).

3 Steps for Protecting your Social Media Brand

Because search engines cleaned up the affiliate tangle a couple years ago with new policies limiting paid search results to one per brand, it’s only natural that affiliates will gravitate toward social media to see if a buck can be made. But if you’re running a social media campaign for any brand, I suggest that you work on these three brand protection issues ASAP:

1. If you have an affiliate program, revise your rules to prohibit affiliate use of the brand name on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and other social media outposts.

2. Convene a conference call with your most important affiliates to discuss how they could use social media effectively without diluting the brand.

3. Conduct scheduled audits of the brand name (using some combination of Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Twingly, Radian6, Techrigy) to ensure that you discover affiliate use of the brand as quickly as possible.

How else can brands make sure their social media efforts are undercut by affiliate partners?

Related
  • http://www.marketingautopsyblog.com/ Cuong Huynh

    Interesting read Jason. I think if we dig deep in an affiliate’s T&C we may find some rules associated with social media use, and I doubt affiliates read these. In any case, as long as there are affiliates, there will be unscrupulous affiliates. And I agree, companies should babysit their affiliate programs in the social media space. It’s to both their own interests and their customers’ interest.

    By the way the @trynetflixfree is now http://twitter.com/suspended.

    Cuong Huynh’s last blog post..Give Customers What They Want: Easy Site Navigation

  • http://www.marketingautopsyblog.com/ Cuong Huynh

    Interesting read Jason. I think if we dig deep in an affiliate’s T&C we may find some rules associated with social media use, and I doubt affiliates read these. In any case, as long as there are affiliates, there will be unscrupulous affiliates. And I agree, companies should babysit their affiliate programs in the social media space. It’s to both their own interests and their customers’ interest.

    By the way the @trynetflixfree is now http://twitter.com/suspended.

    Cuong Huynh’s last blog post..Give Customers What They Want: Easy Site Navigation

  • http://www.jmorganmarketing.com/ social media consultant guy

    hey jason,

    interesting, the account is now suspended, let’s just hope that platforms like twitter won’t get overrun but affiliate marketers. you provide some good tips for companies to follow to keep their social media brand. i agree, I think a lot of it starts at the company with it’s policies, rules, and regulations with what affiliates can and cannot do.

    thanks for sharing jason,

    jacob

    social media consultant guy’s last blog post..Speaking at Social Media Club on SEO + SMO

  • http://www.jmorganmarketing.com social media consultant guy

    hey jason,

    interesting, the account is now suspended, let’s just hope that platforms like twitter won’t get overrun but affiliate marketers. you provide some good tips for companies to follow to keep their social media brand. i agree, I think a lot of it starts at the company with it’s policies, rules, and regulations with what affiliates can and cannot do.

    thanks for sharing jason,

    jacob

    social media consultant guy’s last blog post..Speaking at Social Media Club on SEO + SMO

  • http://www.jinni.com/ Phoebe

    Thanks for the interesting post. When anyone can (and often does) open a fake celebrity or product account on Twitter etc., companies are definitely well-advised to be alert.

  • http://www.jinni.com Phoebe

    Thanks for the interesting post. When anyone can (and often does) open a fake celebrity or product account on Twitter etc., companies are definitely well-advised to be alert.

  • http://twitter.com/joshfialkoff/status/1139130905 Josh Fialkoff

    Reading: Brands Must be Social Media Selfish http://tr.im/bqho

  • http://blog.techrigy.com/ Martin Edic (Techrigy)

    Thanks for the mention. I think we’re going to se a lot of this type of spamming on Twitter. I was besieged a few weeks ago with multi-level marketers following me. Someone is selling an MLM system that purports to show how to make big bucks with Twitter. Fortunately Twitter seems to be blocking people who have thousands of people they follow but no followers.

    Martin Edic (Techrigy)’s last blog post..Techrigy News: Techrigy’s SM2 Social Media Warehouse Hits One Billion Conversations Saved

  • http://blog.techrigy.com Martin Edic (Techrigy)

    Thanks for the mention. I think we’re going to se a lot of this type of spamming on Twitter. I was besieged a few weeks ago with multi-level marketers following me. Someone is selling an MLM system that purports to show how to make big bucks with Twitter. Fortunately Twitter seems to be blocking people who have thousands of people they follow but no followers.

    Martin Edic (Techrigy)’s last blog post..Techrigy News: Techrigy’s SM2 Social Media Warehouse Hits One Billion Conversations Saved

  • letstalkandchat

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