Our monthly contributor and Huge client services director, Josh Seifert, returns post-SXSWi to pen this ditty to, as mentioned above, talk real-time marketing in the age of social media. Why bore you with the preamble, though, just read on.
As a marketing professional working in digital, brands like Oreo getting attention in social media is pretty exciting for the shift it represents. As a consumer, the notion that brands en masse should enter social media and begin tweeting, pinning and posting about everyday happenings is more like a dystopian nightmare. Individual brands that have committed themselves to exploring what’s possible in social media, tying it in with broader marketing programs and shifting their approach when necessary can be exciting and creative—the Old Spice YouTube response videos are a great example. Brands that perceive social media as free media with a low barrier to entry may actually be poisonous for everyone else.
A common theme that seems to reverberate from social media professionals advising brands is the need to “be human” to be successful. Really, this is a polite way to say that every instinct towards managing brands in traditional communications will prove limited and transparent in social media. Basically, brand-controlling memos like this one from Wheat Thins that Stephen Colbert read on air are not human and won’t translate into social media success. What it doesn’t mean, as this short tumblr nicely illustrates, is to generate nonsense content that may be timely, but isn’t actually valuable.