Creating a Buzz on Social Media - Reverse Lessons for Brands

Mariam Noronha
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Social Media Strategy

Succeeding at anything is more about “what not to do” and less about “what to do.”  That’s because there’s a lot that you can do right but one or two things that you do wrong can ruin the effort you make.  The same applies to successful social media campaigns. Creating a buzz on social media is easy provided you know what not to do...

1. Never Delete Negative Feedback/Comments

Even if negative feedback hurts and leaves you smarting deleting it will project you in bad light.  A recent example would be Starbucks India which came under fire for deleting negative feedback from its Facebook page.

Deleting negative feedback means:

  • You are on the defensive
  • You are not willing to own up or face up to the challenge posed by customers/users
  • You are not a customer friendly brand
  • You are not transparent
  • You are unwilling to change.

Now that’s a lot of bad points isn't it? Accepting negative feedback on the other hand means you are willing to see your flaws and do something proactive about it.  Step by step action taken with regard to the negative feedback on Facebook or Twitter is even more effective, earning huge brownie points for your brand!

2. Too many Apps Don’t Work

Apps are an interesting tool for engagement on social media. However, too many apps is a trap you might fall in to in a bid to garner greater attention. Too much of anything isn't good. So don’t go overboard with apps.

Use them but use them wisely, aptly and in a timely manner. Put thought and care into creating them so that they prove to be fruitful.


To quote an example of a fairly successful CSR campaign on social media, Garnier Men in association with Project Chirag took up the challenge to light up rural homes with solar electricity. The campaign, ‘PowerLight A Village’ used social media interactions and offline activities as a mechanism to generate energy. Every like, comment or share contributed a predetermined unit of energy which was added to the energy recorded by the on-ground cycle pedalling to form the actual contribution. The dedicated Facebook app and Twitter engagements together worked to create a buzz for the campaign.

3. Don’t Ignore the Power of Community Building

To consider the behaviour of people on social networks, let’s revisit the 90-9-1 Principle popularized by Jakob Nielsen:

  • 1% of users are Creators who are actively creating content,
  • 9% are Editors who are commenting and adding to content that already exists, and
  • 90% are Audience or Lurkers. They are watching and consuming content.

The principle indicates that by fostering a conversation with 10% of the audience, you are building value for the remaining 90%.

Use the power of community building to your advantage. Halls India ‘Breathe The Change’ failed to create a buzz on social media because it ignored this aspect. With just about 4 short ad films for the initiative and no Facebook and Twitter presence it failed to leverage the power of numbers and influencers on these platforms.

The simple logic being, social media success is all about capitalizing on the power of many people.  For that you need to use multiple social media platforms.

4.  Don’t Overdo the CSR Angle

Yes, CSR is desirable and it has been elevated to a point where it has become something that is no longer an option. A brand with a heart, so to speak, will find more takers than one which is simply driven by commerce. But you need to remember that too much CSR is not going to get you brownie points. In fact, it might just dilute your core effort.

Also, transparency is a big part of any CSR campaign whether on or off social media. This is why the name of the village you lit up, its location on the map and even some villagers talking about the change you have helped engineer will add credibility to your endeavour, as opposed to 100 likes which lit up one nameless village!

Creating a buzz on social media is not rocket science but it is about clever engineering too. Avoiding pitfalls and traps that might seem like the best thing to do or something that’s tried and tested is important.  Figuring out what not to do could be the place to begin.

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