All uncharted territory comes with new challenges, and social media is no exception. Social media, which has fostered an unprecedented level of interactivity between brands and consumers, is more fluid and informal in nature than other communication platforms. In light of social media’s differences from more traditional forms of communication, social media professionals must not forget their primary task: leveraging social media to project a brand image that not only stands up to public scrutiny, but is also overwhelmingly positive.
In my opinion, The National Football League failed on both accounts during the NFL Draft on Thursday night. After 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick, a member of the NFL’s social media team managed to commit a Twitter crime in just 14 characters: “#SadManziel???”
A household name among football fans, Manziel—also known as Johnny Football—was projected to be a top-10 selection in the draft. The NFL’s tweet, which has since been deleted, was in poor taste. Exploiting Manziel’s stardom through social media is not a good look for the folks over at the NFL, as noted by Bradley Baird, a customer experience account manager at Oracle.
In addition to providing brands new avenues for achieving market power and building rapport with customers, social media affords consumers the opportunity to bring their voices into a public sphere. If organizations post tasteless tweets like the NFL did on Thursday night, many of those voices will be of dissent.