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Will Your Branding Power Diminish Thanks to Facebook?

For centuries, companies have kept a finger on the pulse of their brand power. But as more social web networks seek to launch innovative applications that put consumers in control, some companies fear their branding power will flat line.

The marketing industry is in an uproar about Facebook’s latest changes to user’s privacy settings and its launch of community pages, a topical site that collects users’ wall post and Wikipedia content, as it poses risk to companies’ brand power.

In recent months, the social networking conglomerate overhauled its privacy settings and community pages to group users’ common interests as a way to boost social web interaction. But Facebook users shunned the new service because many of their wall posts were published to open networks without consent. Marketing professionals are also upset as many believe the launch diminishes companies’ control of branding.

“This is nothing more than forced marketing,” wrote one Facebook user, who also expressed that users should be able to freely express themselves without their comments being pooled to community pages.

Community Pages are a new version of Facebook pages that are soley dedicated to a string of topics or experiences that Facebook users share. The application, by large, resembles the official pages of businesses, organizations and public figures.

While Facebooks’ community pages haven’t completely rolled out, many of the pages display company logos, background information from Wikipedia and comments from Facebook users about companies and their products. Another hiccup in the service is that Facebook isn’t filtering users’ comments about companies or products, leaving room for negative comments to linger on pages for days on end.

The possibility of negative responses coupled with uncanny web features stands the chance to confuse Facebook users and erodes the social website’s relationship with companies to build their advertising presence on the site, say marketing professionals. Experts have also have pegged the application as a risk to the growing amount of companies who have pumped advertising dollars into Facebook to strengthen their brand presence through official web pages.

Most marketing professionals fear that Facebook’s community pages stand to gain more recognition than actual approved company pages. There are also concerns that company officials will not be able to edit dated content on the pages nor respond to any defamatory comments made by Facebook users.

There has yet to be a clear winner in the debate about how Facebook’s community page and privacy changes stand to impact companies’ brands. Since many have asked how to strengthen the pulse of their brand, we’ve provided a list below of ways that companies can combat the increasing concerns. For further interest on how Shazaaam! Public Relations can revitalize your brand or even help you navigate through the social media industry please contact us at 248-3660-0388.

How Can Companies Tighten Their Reign On Facebook’s Community Page?

1. Uphold a united front: Marketing experts have widely suggested that behemoth and grass –root brands join forces against Facebook and continue to voice their dislike over the potential threat of Facebooks’ community pages. It is believed that the more vocal companies are about the use of logos and content published, the more likely the social website will take notice and change its policy.

2. Know your rights: Companies can call their Facebook sales representative and have their logos removed, if they initially haven’t approved of the moniker being published on the site.

3. Start monitoring accounts. Assign a company official to revise and edit the content on the Wikipedia site. Companies can set up alert systems that inform them when there are any changes to their Wikipedia account.

4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. With a number of companies believing that their brand power is diminishing, businesses need to chase after the social media markets where their clients interact the most. Companies should also make sure that they are proactive in pushing positive word of mouth advertising and producing great products and services.

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