Brian Newmark Investigates Social Media Bashing and the Road to Recovery

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Brian Newmark, an online reputation recovery expert, comments on a recent article that reveals how negative social media can work in a brand’s favor.

As a modern marketing professional, Brian Newmark understands the pros and cons of online media bashing. Today’s social media has taken a life of its own; in a matter of hours, online content can cross continents and scroll across millions of consumers’ screens. The variable universe of Web-branding is a complicated and often-misunderstood monster. Some companies, however, can turn a media blitz in their favor.

A recent article on Forbes discusses a few companies that have taken shots in the chest and rebounded after properly responding to social media criticism. Corporate reputations and countless sales dollars are often at stake when it comes to the online eye, but companies like Maker’s Mark and Abercrombie & Fitch were able to stake their claims in the realm of social media after virtual assaults.

Maker’s Mark released a statement months ago that it would begin watering down its whisky in order to increase product production. Seemingly overnight, Beam, Inc.’s product was basking in social media torchlight. The potency-reduction would no doubt have dropped Maker’s Mark sales, according to the article; however, because of consumer protests, the company saw a 44 percent sales increase.

This was only possible because the company was open in the first place. If social media did not pick up on the switch, the company may have made a much bigger mistake. Maker’s Mark publically retracted the reduction statement, a move that illustrated their customer commitment, increased sales, and bolstered its social media exposure.

“Online reputations hinge on social media,” Brian Newmark, an online reputation management expert says. “At the same time, social media is opening up new opportunities for companies to grow and interact with customers. By being more transparent, brands can get a taste of how consumers feel about product changes and other industry-related news.”

Social media is a two-way street for companies and allows them to both listen and respond to consumers. The negative publicity of Abercrombie & Fitch that recently hit the social media fan was not entirely detrimental to the company; instead, the CEO of the company “gained new life in social channels.”

The Internet age does wrestle some control from marketers when it comes to brand messaging. If anything, this encourages brands to use caution and listen to their clientele more carefully. Maker’s Mark turned a mountain into a molehill and avoided long-lasting marketing problems. A decade ago, however, both Abercrombie & Fitch and Maker’s Mark may have suffered irreversible consequences without social media.

“It’s important for companies looking to increase their brands to embrace social media and all of the criticisms that come with it,” Brian Newmark says. “Companies with an active virtual eye can avoid making mistakes while gaining access to a massive survey network.”

Social networks give a broad outline of consumer opinions and trends. Brands can also use social media to engage and build a fan base through networks like Facebook and Twitter. Brian Newmark sees an advantage in facing social criticism with change head on, but it helps to remember that social media users outnumber brands by a long shot.


Brian Newmark, a brand and online reputation management expert, helps businesses and personalities recover from negative online reputations. He has experience in finance, sales, marketing, and, most importantly, online representation. Many businesses depend on online contacts to operate — securing a positive reputation can make or break a success.

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Henry Middleton
PR Management Inc.
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