Nullifying Corporate Opponents and Critics through Blended Social Media Warfare Tactics
Corporations increasingly face the need to deal with critics that use social media to attack a company or industry. Certainly, some companies have violated so many laws and ethics that it is almost inevitable that they will be attacked with offensive social media warfare tactics. Other companies might be victims of offensive social media warfare attacks by copy-cat competitors or disgruntled current or former employees. Regardless of the motivation behind an attack or the legitimacy of claims made by critics, corporations are developing strategies to deal with an onslaught of negative social media. Several social media warfare tactics are used to respond to attacks, they include
- ? Self-validation, influence, and reinforcement tactics are used by corporations after attacks on reputation or corporate actions. A salvo of social media items is released that target stock holders, customers, regulators, and lawmakers. The intent is to reinforce the good reputation of the company.
- ? Influencing, persuasion, trolling, and confusion tactics are used to cast doubts on the validity of criticisms and the legitimacy of those criticizing. Such social media content is often created by the company through proxies that come to the defense of a company or industry group.
- ? Divisiveness tactics are used to create distance and animosity between different critics that may be attacking a company for the same or similar reasons.
- ? Exposure tactics are used to reveal information about attackers that discredits them as individuals or organizations and creates doubt about the validity of their positions against the company. This can also be effectively done through proxies.
- ? Relationship building and recruitment and indoctrination tactics are used to develop positive relationships with existing friends or to gain new supporters for the company that is the target of criticisms and attacks.