Remember the dark ages of social media where brands focused on using the channel for customer service (or at the very least, looked kinda dorky while trying to figure out the shiny "new" thing)? Well, welcome to the Age of

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  • Tom Smith

    @Melissa If a company’s brand voice is to be “smartass” and “snarky.” that voice should be consistent across social media, as well as all other media channels. Consistency breeds trust. Inconsistency breeds confusion and distrust.

    However, it’s a very risky strategy as many people, like me and Jerry Seinfeld, have trouble recognizing the difference between sincerity and sarcasm.

    I don’t think it’s worth the risk but I’m also a focus group of one.

  • I think it depends on the brand. For some, a bit of sass IS part of the brand and totally works, while for others it would sound completely off. I don’t wonder that GE doesn’t engage in snark, for instance. It isn’t part of their brand. If it works for the brand and they can pull it off without sounding like my Mom trying to be “hip,” I say go for it. Plus, I suspect at least some of the folks getting “burned” wrote their original post in the hopes that it would generate a snarky reply. Getting attention from a major brand (even if covered in snark) can be a source of pride in some circles.

  • Jenny Lassi

    I love sass, but not negativity. Brands have no business stooping to the level of the comment trolls on social media and should always be taking the high road. So join the fun, but if conversations are going down a negative path, jump out of the car. #bantheburn

  • seussman71

    I definitely think there’s room for a balance between the two. There are obviously some horrific case studies that took things too far (Netflix view-shaming), but take, for example, Wendy’s. They have been consistently #2 to McDonald’s #1, so they are always going to have a chip on their shoulder, and will always be trying to find cracks in the armor. The Super Bowl ad was a dig at the frozen vs fresh meat, because that’s Wendy’s main competitive edge. Personally, I’d prefer In ‘n’ Out or 5 Guys over either of them, but that’s not the point. =) When you’re the #2, trying to take a tiny percentage of market share away from the guy ahead of you, sometimes that requires snark to point out the differences between the two. Also, I can’t remember the last time I retweeted a McDonald’s tweet, but Wendy’s is smart enough to stay really close to that edge of “too far” without being totally alienating to its fan base.

  • Thorin McGee