How to avoid social media awkwardness

When it comes to brand-on-brand interaction on social media, there is no hard and fast rule, as some have looked for. But as many will find, here’s where social awkwardness will cost you the most.

In fact, many brands are pushing the envelope in their communications with consumers – with the likes of Oreo, Taco Bell and Scoot finding it to their advantage to get catty with users even.

(Read also: Why it pays to be catty on Twitter)

Locally, the brand with a sense of humor has been Scoot. The brand has had its fair share of brand-on-brand interplays with SGAG on Facebook earlier this year when it had promotional fares to Korea and China during periods when traveling to these areas were of high risk.

The most recent engagement with SGAG was when SGAG asked its fan base to help name Scoot’s name its sixth aircraft.

“We have been ‘trolled’ a few times by SGAG and have been pretty sporting and played along with SGAG with candid and funny responses,” Sharon Koh, marketing manager of Scoot said.

Click here to see Scoot's interaction on SGAG:

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It works because of Scoot’s brand image of being fun and quirky, she added.

Koh also added that social media today is crowded with lots of messages being pushed out almost every second.

“Today marketers face the challenge of having his/her brand messages noticed and retained on social media and people will tend to ignore brand messages which they see over and over again,” she said.

Fast-thinking brands are those who are able to spot opportunities to interact with other brands in a timely, personal and playful fashion.

“These brands could potentially capitalise on this interaction to capture a high share of voice on the social media as these interplays are highly engaging, sharable and less static.”

Meanwhile, Charline Tan, digital marketing specialist - Brand Building Singapore at Unilever added that these interactions provide a “layer of authenticity and human touch” to the brand.

Not only that, this allows a brand easy access to another brand’s community even – for example, if Oreo were to interact with Kit Kat’s followers or fans.

Tan said that such interaction would then allow a brand to not just build its personality and engagement with its own community but extend it to a larger audience without the usual massive investment.

Don't force it

However, such spontaneous interactions can easily spiral downwards especially if a brand happens to be on the “losing end” of such interplays.

As any adept socialite would understand, such interactions should be spontaneous and not forced.

“Although such brand on brand interplays could potentially drive increased brand visibility and positive sentiments on social media, too much of a good thing may backfire- especially as people on social media are pretty cognizant of brands who may come across as trying too hard,” said Koh.

“Thus conversations should follow through like how it is with friends and it should not be forced and lacking spontaneity,” she added.

Consumers today can see through unauthentic and awkward conversations.

“I would say if there is no need to do so, don’t force it. But if there is a clear, perfect opportunity to do so and be spontaneous, it can be of an immense boost to a brand’s personality.”