In this guest post, Meltwater regional director, David Hickey (pictured below), examines last week’s tweet from Kylie Jenner that caused Snapchat’s share price to plummet $1.7 billion and asks, could it happen to your brand, too?
Does one social post have the power to ruin your company’s reputation?
A couple of weeks ago a single Tweet from Kylie Jenner saw Snapchat’s falling share price swipe $A1.7 billion off its market value, and while this can’t be said of every post shared online, social media clearly has the potential to damage a brand’s reputation in a matter of seconds.
Today companies are so focused on internal data and sales performance, they forget to look outwards frequently enough. This means they’re not paying enough attention to the customers and media influencers who ultimately have the power to determine whether their business remains successful.
The internet isn’t new but its power is yet to be fully realised. We live in a new digital reality where everyone — including your competitors — are leaving online breadcrumbs. For businesses, this external information has the power to fully transform the way it operates, informing strategy and allowing for a more forward-focused approach. Gone are the days where consumer feedback could be swept under the rug and only viewed by internal parties. Consumers have found their voice, and the power of one post can be amplified by millions around the world. This is the information brands should be mining. And if you’re not, there’s a chance that something could blow up. So where should you start?
Stop, participate and listen
The reality of the world we’re living in is that the power of social media has never been stronger — but it isn’t all bad. One post does have the potential to ruin a brand’s reputation, but it also has the potential to save it. Brands should be continually monitoring online conversations to ensure it can act quickly and respond to consumer concerns in a timely manner.
Mining the treasure trove of external information out there will allow you to better understand your customers, your competitors and the wider market, as well as where the opportunities are for your business so you can act upon them before your competitors do.
Have a plan in place and respond sooner rather than later
In the case of Jenner’s Tweet, her public profile and large following certainly allowed her message to be quickly disseminated. But there was already a wider issue happening here, resulting in the post spreading like wildfire. Snapchat’s updates caused a range of controversy online, including a change.org petition attracting over 1.2 million signatures online requesting the platform be changed back to an older version. If not dealt with appropriately, this negative response, could see a long term decline in user engagement and ultimately result in a reduction in advertising spending by brands.
Snapchat isn’t the first brand to come under fire on social media and it won’t be the last. Earlier this month fashion brand Guess saw a 17 per cent drop in shares after a Tweet by Kate Upton called out the company’s failure to address sexual allegation surrounding an employee. The accused Guess Co-founder Paul Marciano has temporarily relinquished his pay and day-to-day responsibilities while the allegations are investigated by the high-end fashion brand. Marciano has also lost $52.8 million from his stake of about 12.7 million in company shares, and Guess’ market value has fallen $302.9 million, and now resting at around $1.35 billion.
Containing a crisis in a digital age helps when you can see the wave of criticism coming. So look outside your four walls to the reams of data out there, so you’re able to track it and stay ahead of a situation. Having a plan in place will allow you to react quickly and without hesitation, potentially reducing the amount of reputational damage.