3 Ways brands can fail every day on Facebook

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Consumers today expect brands to be active online — and that doesn’t just mean placing pointless banner ads. Does anyone still do that by the way? No. consumers expect your brand to be engaging and interactive. they expect you to have a facebook page with regular updates. Anything older than a week is shameful. They expect you to tweet regularly about interesting and newsworthy content. Tweets like “I posted XYZ in album ABC” just don’t cut it.

Personally, if I come across a brand that isn’t on facebook it raises an eyebrow. Also brands who are obviously pushing products thought their updates or tweets don’t bode well either.

Being one of the hundreds of millions of active Facebook users I follow a number of brands. I have, however, noticed quite a number of brands that seem to be continuously failing dismally in this environment.

Here are just three ways they can do so.

Spamming product information

Kellogg’s All Bran Flakes, known all as the breakfast cereal to keep you regular, is a prime example of product spamming, here’s a taste of some of its Facebook posts:

I’m all for the brand and swear by the product but seeing posts like this come up on my newsfeed every other day really bugs me. Do I want to get updates about my digestive system – or even worse, about other people’s digestive systems? I think not. I don’t want to know whether other consumers out there are regular all thanks to Kellogg’s All Bran.

I’d rather have messages about health, lifestyle, fitness — anything besides bowel movements — especially coming from a brand that is so obviously pushing this angle to sell product.

Maybe it should revert back to its late 90s campaign of “guess who got it all this morning” — although that message also received slander as it was insinuating that Kellogg’s consumers had a quickie before they got out of bed. It was still, however, better than an image of them sitting on the loo.

Bland, unimaginative posting

A prime example in this regard is South African clothing brand YDE (Young Designers Emporium). Having grown up with YDE I’ve always had a soft spot for the brand, but over the years the prices have risen and quality diminished and I’m sad to say I no longer set foot in the store.

What frustrated me about its use of social media is the lack of customisation. It is guilty of simply uploading images as a post with no further thought, detail or even timidly trying to link it to current trends or fashionable content.

Take the post below for example — YDE could have come up with an awesome post on trending fashion items and then linked it back to product in store or even showcased some more info on the featured designer just to make the post more interesting.

YDE

Nope, alas…

Over posting

One brand that grates my carrot the wrong way on Facebook, especially when it comes to over-posting, is Top Billing, a South African entertainment and lifestyle TV programme. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show, I love the content but I hate the copious amount of times it posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Prime example, one morning the following three consecutive posts came up in my newsfeed:

And similarly on Twitter:

Is that really necessary? Is that engaging content? I don’t think so. This is also all tweeted and posted to Facebook during the show. What does it want from us? Are we supposed to actually watch the show or spend half of the time on our phones, computers of tablets talking about it?

Personally I think it’s a mild case of overkill.

I’m all for being relevant and “on the ball” but the need to post every five minutes really doesn’t sit well with me. How is taking my attention away from the actual show (i.e. product) beneficial for the brand? I’m just likely to miss most of it and then have to watch the repeat. Aha! Maybe that’s its strategy…

In closing, for me and many consumers, brands that use social media effectively, engage with us on relevant topics and communicate interesting and newsworthy information will win brand loyalty. Frivolous and pointless comments and post will only push consumers away and create a negative brand image.

I for one have blocked all the bowel related posts from my newsfeed and so will not be privy to any actual relevant communication from the brand going forward.

Use social media to better you brand, not to annoy consumers.

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  • http://twitter.com/PopcornCandi Candice Kropf

    Very well said.
    Another annoyance that I have is brands like Smirnoff SA, who post from Facebook to Twitter – often posts that make no sense on Twitter, don’t belong there and are longer than the 140 character limit, forcing you to click the link to read the whole tweet, e.g. “Make your corner of the world heard. Post your city as a comment below!” – Really?? On Twitter! It’s lazy social media and it’s happening more and more.

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