A brand is a company’s most valuable asset. It is what sets them apart from competitors. It defines who they are, what they value and how they act. And in a world where people can quickly and easily connect with brands online companies should be incredibly careful how they manage their brand online. And yet countless brand profiles across social media are being managed by people who are wholly unqualified to do so.
Print adverts have to follow visual guidelines; TV and radio adverts have to conform to tone voice; websites are carefully designed to represent the brand digitally. All communications should be entrenched in brand guidelines. After all, it’s the brand that is talking, and a brand should have a clear personality, a set of values, and a way of speaking.
So then, why do we think we can ignore this with social?
We let interns speak for us. We hand over profiles to junior account execs, with no training, experience or qualifications. Few if any are given direction, let alone clear guidelines on how to represent the brand online.
Countless brands give away control of their online voice to their agencies, entrusting them to stand for the brand, its values, its way of thinking, under the at times misguided belief that they are best qualified. Very rarely are the agencies given brand training by the brand.
We wouldn’t let these people craft copy for adverts, or developing messaging for a television campaign, and yet these people are trusted to engage with consumers on a daily basis, acting as the official voice for the brand.
As social media matures, and companies are seeing its full potential they have to also recognize the huge dangers the face by trusting the wrong people to be their voice in social spaces. Companies need to carefully pick their brand guardians, lest their brand suffer the consequences.