Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
We live in the age of technology with lots of opportunities and challenges for brand owners. There is the daily challenge of phishing, hackers and many other associated problems. There are people who just want to destroy others by all means with no just cause.
In our clime, the major challenge here has to do with individuals who take advantage of no structured laws that guide online behaviours of people and brand online. At a slightest provocation they go online to push damaging contents about any brands they do not like. While we must agree many brands here are still not in tune with how best to manage information as well as online/offline staff behaviours which can harm their brands; one needs to sound a note of warning to those who deliberately falsify information and publish same online in order to have their palms grease with ‘rewards’. Who will blame them also? Many brands have not seen the need to develop a social media policy for both the employee and brand use. Everything is allowed to go as it comes. Many brands also think if they already have a in-house ‘social media executive’ who is only versed in traffic or analytics, all is set. That is a great mistake.
I keep asking people, what is the use of analytics and traffics when your reputation is going through serious damage online? In many cases their supposed in house person (social media Executive) cannot help. At some points, many in house communication teams always ask for a pull-down of the story. This is a loophole these mischievous, false and damaging content publishers often harness since they know someone will have to run to them for a pull down. This always gives room for negotiation and exchange of gifts/money. As we know this is often a temporary solution. Before it is a month or two, another false story will still surface online. We must agree some of the stories may not be completely false but many are often inaccurate position of real facts. Given the above scenario, what should brands do?
Hire right person or team: While analytics, traffic to your sites are great, the issue of reputation is very, very essential. Any social media executive without basic knowledge of content management cannot help much. We are not talking of ability to tweet or write Facebook updates here. Anyone can handle 140 characters or less. When it comes to real content creation, planning, development that can enhance corporate profile and image where oil is expected to be separated from the water then there goes the real deal. Content publishing and storytelling ability can enhance traffic, page view, help answer customers’ concern among others. If you must hire social media Executive, it is better to go for someone with content management and reputation ability and train them in area of analytic if they are lacking. Or if there is budget enough to hire everyone with specialize knowledge in the team.
Do not always ask for a pull down: many fake publishers will always take the advantage of this often. If the account is inaccurate, go publish the accurate account at the source of the negative content. Be bold to identify your brand as the source of the new information through great use of avatar. You may have others who may deliberately attack your brand but in the course of time if you are seen to have integrity, you will win some to your side. The publisher may eventually lose face and has his reputation for authentic information damaged in the process. This will help your brand at long run than asking for a pull down. Note also that you should not just stop here, use other platforms you own to spread right information. This will enhance brand visibility and it can easily push down the negative story from first page.
Invest in software: in few cases, you may invest in certain software that can help. There are software that can attack the negative content from source. This often automatically pulls down the story. The disadvantage of this is that the publisher can redraft the story in another way which may make the software inactive. This depends on the knowledge of the publisher. This has happened here in this platform and we had had to redraft and republish the content few days later. The advantage of such software is that it can pull down at source when the news is still very hot and fresh. This may not be the best option. We recommend constant relevant content publishing and marketing which we have noticed many brands here will not want to touch with a prong of a fork.
We will do update on this as this piece is becoming too long for our usual policy.