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Five Simple Steps To Bringing A Brand To Their (Virtual) Knees

Yesterday my husband left work early and we were chatting about the rise of the Internet Alpha Mom, and I said to him, “Just you wait, something will happen this weekend. The Moms will be working.”

And they were. Now, I’m not certain that the Mom Bloggers were consciously thinking I’ll get them, but I do realize that a long weekend is the perfect time to rally the troops. I’m not suggesting that Mom Bloggers (or any sort of blogger for that matter) should take their hard earned social capital and spend it on trashing a brand (corporation, company, whatever…), but there does seem to be a bit of a formula to it, and I’ll give you five simple steps to bring a brand to their knees.

My suggestion is that brands pay close attention. Bloggers already know exactly what to do:

1) Timing is everything: Large corporations close up in the evenings, and many are completely checked out on weekends. If you post something critical of them on a Friday evening, you have a two to three day head start on your buzz versus theirs. A well timed blog post puts you days ahead of the evil corporation.

2) Ask readers to take an action and report back: When you post about the evil corporation be sure to ask your readers to do something other than just read. Ask them to call or email (letter writing campaigns have gone the way of the brontosaurus). If you are looking to build your site, ask them to report back to you in the comments, if you are looking to build momentum, ask them to post on their own sites.

3) Track and share the momentum: Set up a google alert. If you’re asking people to say #xyzstinks then you will want updates as quickly as possible so that you can support people who write #xyzstinks. As people are writing be sure to share it in public forums like Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Digg. As you are sharing this valuable information you’ll be promoting others, and your cause.

4) Go multimedia: Really, multimedia doesn’t mean internet, TV and radio. Multimedia (in our frame of reference) means text, audio and video. Post your message to your blog, to cinch, and to YouTube. Once you have the message of #xyzstinks available to every kind of content consumer you can pitch the local media.

5) Get redundant: Stay on message and repeat it ad nauseum. I recognize that after a day or so it’s unlikely that you will care any longer, but stamina is everything. Constant blog posts in every blog you contribute to are key. Repeat steps one through four tirelessly.

When the long weekend finally ends you will have cultivated several hundred posts, a few thousand tweets and (if you’re lucky) a few passionate co-conspirators. If the weekend has gone well, and all executives are at their beach houses, you will have begun a movement. If, however, the company monitors their online reputation, and hasn’t outsourced their phone center to India, you might have had some level of resolution, and the storm may not be brewing.

11 thoughts on “Five Simple Steps To Bringing A Brand To Their (Virtual) Knees”

  1. I think the timing is coincidence.

    Personally, I would WAIT for business to open to give companies a fair opportunity to respond (if possible). My priorities are just different I guess.

    I love the way you write about “social capital” and I agree that one should not waste it. But social capital implies social power and that should not be used irresponsibly either. My two cents.

    enjoy the rest of the weekend,

  2. The last post I wrote was about Boycotting Target for their donation to anti-gay politics. I didn’t issue a call to action because I didn’t think to. But it was the post with the highest traffic I’ve ever posted. It got a lot of tweets and retweets and shares on Facebook (for a small player like me). And even with those stats that are FAR below what some blogging “superstars” experience, somehow Target corp still caught wind of it and read it.

    Will it change anything? Probably not. I was NOT the loudest or only voice in this boycott. It’s made national news and has been all over social media. However, I am happy that *someone* from Target read it and my voice was heard.

    (If anyone is curious —>

  3. I loved #homeher10 and you are right! But I have to admit that it is kind of comforting knowing that moms are listened to. You know, moms have always had this much power but now with the internet things just happen FASTER. Think of the Disney boycott back in 1995ish (I was in gradeschool, I don’t remember the exact year) It took lots of families across the country to get attention. Today it takes less moms because we are so much more vocal and I like it. We don’t have to stand for being represented wrongly or advertised to incorrectly.

    I do agree that sometimes things go a bit far, as things always do in life. This is a sad swing of the pendulum that I don’t agree with.

  4. You’re absolutely right. Sbarro refused to give my 8 year old a glass of tap water today. I’m going to spend the rest of my weekend bringing down Sbarro. Keep an eye out for my hashtag #Sbarrowantskidstodieofthirst.

  5. I’m a small player in the mom-blog world, but I have had two successful posts with help from other mom bloggers and social media (Qwest and Totsy). I’m about to take on a 3rd (Mediacom). My only concern with this upcoming post is that Medicom isn’t social media savvy – no Facebook page and no Twitter, so that makes it difficult to get their attention. But it won’t stop me from trying.

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