Marketwired Blog

The Pain of Parody Accounts

Big brands tend to get discussed in social media from all angles. One of the things that some of the more engaged and daring users do is start a parody account of a brand and begin to tweet and/or post.

A user who started a parody United Airlines account (@unitedairlanes) found out that many angry customers were tweeting this account thinking it was actually United Airlines (@united).

The parody account only tweeted for a month in 2012 before stopping altogether.

Beyond the sheer entertainment value, this does pose several issues for United Airlines along with other brands who have experienced this in the digital world.

For starters, you are being robbed of the opportunity to deal with and appease your customers who are communicating with you via social media.

Secondly, if a parody account is even somewhat successful than many will not realize that it is fake.

Thirdly, you obviously can’t control what that account tweets, posts or how it interacts with its fans and followers. This should give every digital marketers the fearful shakes.

If you work for a big brand or one who makes the news often, you need to constantly survey for any parody accounts.

If you do find one or more, contact the owner immediately and do your best to make them a fan of your brand. If they are a fan, then incentivize what they are already doing and offer rewards in order to close the account or to keep it clean.

Ultimately, the goal is to make them an advocate working with you, not against you.


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