I’ve been thinking a lot recently about to what extent big brands should maintain a presence in social networks. Should they have an official home even though they might not really fit in or should their staff participate where the conversation is already taking place in a semi-official capacity or any number of other possibilities.
One way or another I though I ought to see how many of the UK’s (and the worlds) biggest brands have a presence onTwitter and Facebook and whether they have squaters with their brand name as a username.Facebook – when Facebook introduced ‘Pages’ it was created largely so companies and other organisations could create a profile in a similar way to a conventional user.
I thought this would mean most of the UK’s biggest brands would have a presence. Only Coca-Cola had anything like an official presence and that was just their official store selling Coke merchandise.
Worst of all was Tesco, who a sneaky/clever affliate has set up so any unsuspecting visitors who click his link all add to his montly earnings.
It’s hard for a large brand to agree how to use a network like Facebook but given the hype surrounding the site I expected the biggest brands to have a stronger presence.
Twitter – its still early days for twitter but with more article like the recent Guardian piece & well over 200 marketers using twitter I thought a few of the top ten might be playing with twitter. I was wrong, most seemed to have them registered whether maliciously but not in use or officially but mothballed.
Nokia, Colgate, Ford & Vodafone all have people using their brand as a username, none seem to have any real connection to the brand though the risk remains of the posting negative feedback or passing themselves off as the company in some way.
Though the username cocacola at the time of writing was still avaialable for a disgruntled customer or member of their marketing team…
All in all not a great showing, it really highlights although the bigger brands might have the scale and budget to invest in social media it doesn’t mean they always are. If you’re a smaller less established brand or just a fierce competitor take advantage of where your competitors are napping and build great relationships with your clients.