With the growth of social media and transition into two-way channels of communication, brand identity is potentially stronger but more at-risk than ever before! In these current times, it is a common fear to lose your brand’s ‘voice’.

Before anything, we have to learn that the PR and marketing department (however important) do not run the show. The masses are the drivers, the controllers and passengers of your brand!

For instance, when McDonald’s launched their #McDStories campaign on Twitter, at a glance the whole thing was a total disaster, but with further inspection it actually benefitted the brand in a humourous fashion.

The intention of the campaign was to share happy farm stories about the brand, but within a few hours McDonald’s was subjected to pothead stories, tales of animal cruelty and just overall abuse.

This was indeed worrying for them and the whole campaign was labeled as a #McFail.

Here are some examples:

But as much as this seemed as a PR crisis, the whole situation was for one, hilarious, but also a great learning experience about being transparent. Its learning how to take the good in with the bad. It’s a lesson in being open and most importantly, how to take a joke!

Because this society that exists online is an ever-evolving (and unforgiving) creature that none of us have tamed. The fear lies from receiving just upright honest feedback, which we often just hate, which we think will damage sales and margins at every turn.

The fear should lie in not trying, not wanting to listen and not moving forward. Social media is a well-crafted tool for all to use, so we should just grab hold of it and figure it out together.

Is your brand ready for social media?

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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