An Insider’s View on Product Management

May 17, 2009

Brand Hijacking

Filed under: Marketing,Social Media — Gregory @ 11:05 am
Tags: , ,

Social network like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter have opened a new area of opportunities for companies to promote their brand and manage their online presence. But they are also created a new source of challenges for companies to control and protect themselves in this inherently anonymous world.

Beginning of this year, 2 Dominos employees released a video on YouTube where they were blowing snot on pizzas at Dominos store. They are now facing felony charges. Last year, a person named “Janet” registered an account “ExxonMobilCorp” on Twitter and started answering questions on behalf of the company. In 2008 again, JC Penney became the latest victim of unofficial advertising – a video ads depicting fake sex was unleashed in the blogosphere.
The hijacking trend is not slowing down and represents a real danger for brands and corporations. Identity control will remain an issue on the web. Despite the fact that most social media sites provides strict terms and conditions to prevent impersonation, the temptation is too high and the copyright infringements prove difficult to enforce.

Consequently, companies should have an appropriate online strategy, monitor regularly their presence in the social media world and be ready to respond quickly to any “brandjacking” attempt. A preemptive action would be to register your company name across social media sites. This is especially efficient on sites like Twitter and YouTube where the username becomes the identity of the poster.

So now that you got warned, don’t get caught unaware!

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