There is much confusion and talk about the control of social media in an organization when there is no defined department to do so. There cannot be a single statement about it as the role of social media for different brands is unique. It depends on how active the brand is on the social media as well as the ratio of target market that follows them over there. There are many people who follow their favorite brands but not all companies are making it their prime interest and their social media appearance has little or no impact on their reputation.
There are some examples where one small statement over twitter made the company see the worst reaction.
The most recent example of this ‘problem’ is Kenneth Cole. Their new collection was out and they were eager to tell other about it. What they did ended up in a real disaster as they sent a senseless and highly inappropriate tweet. What they said is:
Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online –KC
This is what they in point of fact said and the only reason that seems to be behind such a careless tweet is that they were making an effort to take advantage of on a hot trending topic. While saying this, they totally underestimated the seriousness of the Egypt issue.
They are going to pay for it for a long time. They had to see a strong reaction within hours of their tweet and there was a label on the store window the very next day that featured their tweet in its actual form.
Although this is a great damage for the company and a really bad situation but it has clearly shown two important lessons. First is that social media has the power to spread your message like a virus everywhere. Second one and most important in this situation is that you are responsible for every single word you say on social media and making a wrong move here can make you suffer a lot.
In the case of Kenneth Cole, they have to do something real in order to control this situation and they have started it by making an apology over Facebook and deleting that tweet. The bitter reality is that internet never forgets and they still have to do much in this regard. Now, this has to be put in front of public relation department to control it but they should have been the in-charge of it earlier in order to avoid much loss.
It is a brand that could easily benefit from social media if they had decided the PR department to handle it. They have a great number of clients on Facebook and twitter and they follow them. They could have easily avoided this worst situation by doing so.
Why PR should control social media?