How Social Media Affect Place Brands: Opportunities and Risks

How do social media affect the brand of a country, city or destination? Most of us use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & co. but not always is it clear what impact such postings have on perceptions of places.

Below the answers of our panel of place branding specialists (in alphabetical order –  highlighted respondents are available for consulting, research or as speakers).

A few key takeaways:

  • Social media today have enormous power.
  • They are a great storytelling opportunity for places and brands.
  • They are equally dangerous and potentially risky, for places and their image, as misinformation can spread fast and wide.
  • Since place branders have much less control now over the image and identity presented of a place, we must try to manage, influence and interact with what is posted online.
  • Social media postings from individuals and influencers are considered more credible than formal communications.
  • In public diplomacy, social media have turned the tables, blurring the lines between professionals and amateurs, senders and receivers, international and domestic affairs.
  • Social media are a treasure chest of data, but we don't really know what to do with it (yet).

And our favorite quote:

For a good brand, based on true substance, social media is the gift that keeps on giving. But, for brands that lack substance and project themselves dishonestly, social media is, rightly, the kiss of death. (Tom Buncle)


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The Editorial Team

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