Social media focused all attention since now several years, with a huge democratization, brought by customers, audience and employees, with brands staring at the sky for angels to come…But that’s not because bulk and masses get the tool on board that it’s correctly addressed and used with relevance. Failures inside may be hard to digest, while they bring new ideas to the table, we’d rather take a look at, very patiently.
What we can consider is that, social media is nothing about “steadily going on with business as usual”. As the cluetrain manifesto, many years ago already said “the end of business of usual” in fact. Companies who try to consider social media movement as another mainstream leverage go facing several troubles, soon. Why? Social media is a deep revolution, where everybody in any job or responsibility is impacted. It’s nothing to see with “only PR, marketing or communication”. It’s about people. It’s about conversations. It’s about truth, transparency and human breath, throughout companies and people. Anyone not prepared to pay attention, price and vision to such a tremendous wave will lose and miss all the essence and opportunities to transform its business and relationship system. And it’s about such values like: discipline, intuition, new ways to see/think “out of the box”, deliver authentic experiences with real and personalized voice, stick to values, get core with innovation. Yes it’s all about that, and the ability to transform a whole process/mindset. Not adding another “tool”.
What we can draw so far, is staring at some recent experiences with brands that tried to include social media, as leverages (they thought it was) to solve, jump or save their business. These were missing far from the basic rules of social media, as:
- Be true, transparent and unique
- Engage for a long time for rich conversations
- Be inspired with those you inspire yourself
- Be remarkable and build personality: people don’t look for mainstream or boring relations
- Bring experience, content and storytelling: people need dreams to become their simple life
- Hold and sustain the relation in good and bad times: that’s life!
- Be ready to throw your strongest beliefs in the garbage: we never saw this before. The new stuff in town, and the sheriff may be shot down!
- Talk about real things, with real words, to real people, with authentic voice: there’s only one way to be trustable, the first time
- Don’t consider transactional as an obligation or an end: it’s probable, not sure, and in between there’s a conversation need. Put your efforts there…
- Join the conversation as a real person with a name, a point of view, an authentic voice, passion and…a sense of humour!
As far as these rules can be nurtured, they must be strictly employed, first for the customer, and not obviously to do business first, but to spread some conversation between people. If not, the wake-up could be hard to live. See how some found rocks on their way and lose some energy and even money…
Let’s stare at Summer’s Eve, womens’ products for private hygenia, who tried to mix some humour and the opportunity to get a professional lift, including tips that made some trouble in the audience…Link raise with hygenia? Mmm bad idea for that, and a real downside effect for all the community…
Be careful too with twitter accounts as it can be hacked and polluted twits can become disasters, as anyone can RT it as quick as possible around the globe. Prepare your best sense of humour, imagine it can arrive to you and be ready for a relevant reaction if so. But beyond all: respect and be seriously involved if it occurs, and take time to a gradual response to embrace community.
“Don’t fake with the audience, or be ready to live in a fake loyalty”: that could be the result after fake’s insurance company buzz with Mark and Audrey false love story, built on the social web, to prevent and sell insurance concepts…Don’t play with the emotion of people, as emotion is simulated. It’s a real late cannonball for unpredictable damages…
Fear of a bear? Seems arrived to Philips in Singapore when they simulate a wild bear in the streets to spread the buzz…That turned into a fantasy for fear and a huge hunt in a residential area! “We should have been more obvious with the stuntman inside to do something weird and funny, more than hold the role too tight”, Philips spoke…Next time you see a bear, don’t shoot too fast, it may be a man inside!
Last time you dreamt of a puppet? Ford did it, believing that Doug, its new ambassador for Focus models overcame the brand itself. People never saw the Focus, while they “liked” the Puppet so much that they gave it life and story. Spokespuppet Doug introduced close and funny values, but people in fact never thought about the Focus. Too real, too friendly, too “human”: Is there any footprint or lesson for the brand tomorrow? Think Ford has been really troubled with this tremendous success, till “killing” it: now, Doug’s story came to an end, because it’s the destiny for a “temporary character” to go there: RIP so, Doug…
“Fail yes, fail harder so, but always try. That’s the essence of entrepreneurship and the guarantee that we are still alive”. Let social media always reminds us this principle…But the worst fails are those you never heard of…And it’s the opposite of social media effect, that means buzz is all around!