Should brands worry about Twitter parodies?

Social media’s influence is incredible, with the link between traditional and social media growing on a daily basis. Something interesting happens on Twitter and before you know it the story’s hit national headlines.

All communications professionals should by now be taking social media seriously. But what should you do if someone takes it not so seriously, at your expense?

Parody accounts are on the rise. Take one person with some time on his hands, one smart phone, a sense of humour and good language skills, and there you have the perfect recipe for a parody account, with the potential to explode any second now.

Some of my favourite parody accounts are Will Ferrell (Fill Werrell), Elizabeth Windsor (Queen_UK) and Soccerguy (USAsoccerguy). Very funny, sometimes a bit close to the bone, never taking themselves too seriously and not really offending anyone.

It’s very rare that parodies are taken seriously by the individuals or brands being spoofed. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.

So what do the experts tell us to do?

Brandwatch highlights that parodies bring attention the the official brand, raising its profile, and suggests we make the most of this. Embrace the opportunity and get lots of positive content posted while you’re in the spotlight.

Brand Republic says interact with the parody account holder if appropriate, and take inspiration from them by creating your own parody accounts.

Twitter says if an account only shares your name, nothing else, and clearly states it’s a parody, it’s not breaking any rules.

Cision says monitor the parody, turn the negatives into positives, and mine the information to help improve your business. It says snap up the handles for different variations of your name to make your account harder to parody.

Some great advice rounded up there in case you ever need it. I hope you don’t.

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