For Handshake 2.0:“Brands that let their channels lapse and fade away into the wasteland of untidy and untended pages lack a clear understanding of how to useYouTube as a social media vehicle,” writes Catherine-Gail Reinhard, creative director at Videasa, on Mashable.
A branded social media account requires a strong commitment. B.L. Ochman, a social media strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the head of whatsnextonline.com, wrote about how starting a Twitteraccount and then not using it can be damaging to a company’s brand. AYouTube account can certainly be valuable, but requires just as much care.
Opening a social media account can help a brand take control of its image in a particular outlet. Domino’s Pizza faced a marketing nightmare in April of this year, when two employees filmed a disgusting video they’d later claim was a hoax. The video, which hit YouTube and spread like wildfire across the web, was followed by a smart response by the company president: terminating and filing suit against the involved employees, gutting the specific store for sanitation reasons, and posting a response on YouTube. The immediate damage from the employees’ video was measurable, but DPZ showed a quick recovery.
In this instance, a response of some kind was absolutely necessary, and this format was likely to reach those who witnessed the original. But companies need to be thoughtful when creating a YouTube presence. A strong YouTube campaign by a brand could give leverage to existing and future negative content, and engaging in online discussion will increase a brand’s responsibility to respond to negative user-generated content. Again, it’s a matter of commitment.
As many bloggers have pointed out (here, and here, and here…), a viral video does not guarantee revenue. The revenue results from great branding and smart strategy. So, a company has a video people are talking and tweeting about. That’s great. But are they going out and buying the product? Do they even know what the product is? As always, a smart strategy must come first.