You may remember him as Lil Bow Wow, the famous 90’s child rapper, but last week he was known as the guy who was caught lying about his lavish lifestyle on Instagram. And today we know him as a prime example of what businesses should NOT do on social media.
Let’s take it back to last Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Bow Wow posted a picture on Instagram of a private jet just before boarding at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport. Only, he wasn’t boarding the jet we saw in the picture. His golden carriage quickly transformed into a pumpkin when a passenger posted a picture of him relaxing on a commercial flight, with the caption,
“So this guy Lil Bow Wow is on my flight to NY. But on Instagram, he posted a picture of a private jet captioned, ‘traveling to NY today.’”
This post immediately went viral and even initiated the #Bowwow challenge, where people posted fake pictures of themselves in fancy cars and attending sports events.
Learn Bow Wow’s Lesson
Now, what can you learn from Bow Wow’s social media fail? It always comes back to authenticity. Businesses can’t fake it until they make it. There’s always going to be a few followers who won’t hesitate to call you out when something doesn’t add up, especially when your audience are Millennials and Gen Z.
Stay True to You
Your brand is built on a foundation that shouldn’t sway. Your audience trusts that your values and voice will remain the same, which is why they follow your movements, and purchase your products and services. Brands that work with influencers should always have an idea of what type of person will best represent their brand’s image.
Trying to sound cool, or working with the hottest influencer of the moment is not worth jeopardizing your brand’s identity online. Your audience will notice, and they will speak up, and some will even leave.Sounding cool, or working with the hottest influencer is not worth jeopardizing your brand’s identity. Click To Tweet
Last week, Kim Kardashian lost 100,000 followers on Instagram after a picture revealed that she has cellulite. While we’re not concerned with Kim K’s cellulite and airbrushing skills, 100,000 followers is a hefty number to loose, even for the social media princess with nearly 100 million followers! 100,000 people care about authenticity, which proves how valuable it really is.
And as social influencer Joel Comm notes, “We are entering into an age where “real” is a currency. Being real is the new currency. The facade needs to come down, and we need to connect on social like real people. And there are so many that are pretending to be something that they’re not.”
People want to relate to the brands and celebrities they follow on social media. That’s why we engage with them, share behind the scenes footage, and show our personality. It’s always best to have an idea of what your audience wants and everything else will fall into place. And if you’re fresh out of ideas, don’t be afraid to ask them in a poll or turn it into a campaign.
Don’t follow Bow Wow’s example—your business can go viral for the right reasons