Don’t worry about the bad press your brand gets. When you pile on genuine, positive reviews your rating will skyrocket.
One of the biggest bugaboos of brand managers today is the negative comment. A negative comment on social media often sends brand managers and their minions into a tizzy. They jump into action like chickens on a hot griddle, scurrying about trying to figure out how to put out imaginary conflagrations.
Analyzing this common scenario, it’s evident to the meanest intelligence that, sooner or later, all brands get smeared. This is because you can’t please everyone—all the time.
Giant brands like McDonald’s, Walmart, Amazon, which spend a fortune on insuring favorable reviews in all media, still get slammed frequently. Do they let that bother them? No, indeed.
Even Oprah Winfrey had to learn to simply stop reading negative comments. Someone reads her mail and the comments sections for Oprah — then if something must have her attention — the employee she has taking care of that brings the negative piece to her attention, and she deals with it.
All of these people know the great secret behind social media branding. And here it is:
Brands use the avalanche method
Let’s take an imaginary company Mieuller’s Baked Beans. The brand has been around for a long time. Its’ customer base is steady and slowly rising.
One fine day some disgruntled trolls on Facebook decide to post an accusation that Meuller’s Baked Beans contains ground glass. Even though there is absolutely no basis for this ludicrous charge, social media, being what it is, will pick up on this.
There will be some adverse comments, and several news outlets may even pick up on it. Should Meuller’s Baked Beans react by hiring an expensive spin-doctoring firm to quash this rumor? If they want to spend all their assets for nothing and wind up in bankruptcy, this could be the way to go.
But the big corporations, the savvy operators, know that fighting with fire only leads to more fire. So instead, they use what is known as the avalanche technique.
Quite simply, the technique requires the social media managers for the brand to pull out all previous positive comments for the past several years while aggressively soliciting new positive reviews from loyal customers.
Even if you have to bribe them with free products, a trip to Disneyland, or make them an honorary astronaut, get those new positive comments on all social media immediately.
Snowed under? Just increase your comments.
Now here’s an interesting little item about the algorithms that most social media channels use. Despite what you might have heard, they respond to quantity even more than quality or controversy.
This means to Meuller’s Baked Beans that their social media manager simply needs to inundate social media with dozens of positive comments about the brand. Get someone to write a rhyming verse about beans. Make it a bad poem so people will lose interest in ground glass and notice the bum poetry. Don’t stop there.
Since the company has been around a while and reached into the dim dark past — find advertising copy that is ridiculous by today’s standards. Hold a contest; whoever guesses the number of beans in a marked can of Meuller’s Baked Beans wins a lifetime supply of Gas-X.
All this hullabaloo will snow under those lying negative comments until they won’t show up on page five of any google search. And very few people will ever bother to go back that far on a google search.
The bandwagon effect for brands
Another benefit to the avalanche technique is the bandwagon effect.
Sticking with Meuller’s Baked Beans as an example, once this avalanche of positive and peculiar reviews floods social media, viewers of it will begin to remember other things.
Like a great piece crowing over how their mother always used the brand, how (the brand) was necessary for every camping trip. How good a can of it tasted with a bit of catsup, mustard, and brown sugar. In other words, nostalgia kicks in. Also, the great mass of undecided consumers looking for a brand of baked beans to identify with are suddenly confronted with Meuller’s Baked Beans as a trend threatening to go viral.
Sheep that they are, they will gladly clamber onto the bandwagon and start bringing home not the bacon, but Meuller’s Baked Beans.
Bend it like Amazon
When you go online with Amazon, you’ll notice that brands have several star ratings and both positive and negative comments. These comments show up the brand as both being honest and transparent. Of course, the brand stars are so big, they don’t need to worry about negative comments. But Amazon is also being very savvy. They have done enough research to know that customers will buy anything if they feel that reviews on the item are balanced and honest.
Meuller’s Baked Beans can also take advantage of this phenomenon. They should, of course, run all the positive comments they can 24/7. Still, alongside the glowing praise, they should also post some of the more humorous or amazingly negative comments (with no attempt to reply or defend themselves in any manner).
Because it’s true what the ancient Persians said: Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. For social media, to keep your enemies closer merely means to keep an eye on the haters — but you don’t need to respond to them other than to love and increase your brand, whatever it may be, in the most favorable and positive light you can show.
Image Credit: Rodnae Production; Pexels; Thank you!