I just finished reading an article in Advertising Age, How to Tell If Your Campaign Has Reached a Social Media Flashpoint, that recounted some of the more vocal outrage moments on Twitter that have caused companies to put crises management programs in place. Some of these moments include the recent Ragu debacle and the Pampers Dry Max episode that saw a few thousand moms express rage against P&G over their new diapers.
What is so fascinating about social media blow-ups on Twitter (and that is where they are most fast and furious) is that the number of those who are expressing dissatisfaction with a brand is always minuscule in relation with a brand’s entire consumer base and won’t affect overall sales, but because they are the loudest they become the most important.
I have already had my share of complaining about a company and seeing how my words could, in fact, change actions. It was years ago when a few blog posts I wrote about an organization’s actions rubbed me the wrong way. People commented and linked to my blog. They tweeted it and put it on Facebook and the next thing I know I had an email from the president of the organization in my inbox saying they were making changes based on my feedback. It was the first time I saw the power of blogging and social media for myself. Then, shortly thereafter I decided I wouldn’t publicly lambast any organization or brand again. Why? I found it was too easy for loud opinion-making to feed the ego. This was my personal assessment and certainly not an indictment on others. The more opinion posts I wrote the more comments I received and the more traffic I got. I was essentially building a robust community around my disdain for whatever caught my eye that day. I had to honestly ask myself was I writing these posts because of worthy outrage or because the traffic was good? I shuttered that blog more than four years ago and have taken a more measured approach to blogging. Again, that’s just me and how I blog.
This brings me to the original theme of this post. Do the loudest bloggers always win? That is, are the ones who aren’t afraid to rail against a brand the ones whose voices ultimately matter because they are the ones that are consistently heard? The bloggers who express their opinions are the ones we tend to know and recognize the most. It’s also the ones the media know to go to when a new Twitter dust storm reaches a fever pitch. It is particularly the ones with the most thought out arguments who eventually become super influencers. According to the AdAge article and Shift Communications President Todd Defren ”If you see an influencer [pick it up], that’s when you hit panic button.”
Are Mom Bloggers Rabble-Rousers?
I was reading a business-to-business article this morning advising brands to create crisis management plans just in case people attack them through social media channels for their business practices, products, commercials, or whatever else could potentially raise people’s ire.
I thought it was interesting that in this advice piece, the author used mom bloggers as an example of a group of social media users who can cause serious trouble for brands online. Now that I think about it, the author hasn’t strayed far from the truth. After all we have seen moms publicly take companies like Motrin, Nestle, ConAgra, and even Pampers to task harshly on the Net. It is quite evident that mom bloggers can rally the troops like no other demographic and spread their opinions far and wide in a matter of hours. That begs the question then: Are mom bloggers rabble-rousers and brands need to figure out crisis management strategies for business gone wrong or are mom bloggers simply doing their jobs as watchdogs of branding and advertising to the masses?