The boy who cried wolf

Everyone knows this story by now, the boy cried “wolf” too many times when there was no wolf at all. Then, when the wolf showed up, no one would listen to him because he had mislead them so many times before.

Let this be a lesson to those creating content for social marketing purposes. If you spew out a bunch of crap just to have content, people will stop paying attention. This is also true with where you put your content. It should be just as strategic and targeted what you say, as where you say it.

Here’s an example:

Company X has created a video that shows how their new plastic egg container keeps eggs safe while being transported. They posted the video on You-Tube and created a Facebook fan page. The five people in the company’s marketing department have sent “suggestions” to their Facebook friends to join the Facebook page. This is fairly common for companies just starting out with social media. Once a week, they post the video on their Facebook fan page and promote the locations where they are going to be doing demos at local grocery stores.

The problem: Their Facebook fan list is not growing and sales are not rising. That’s because they are sending the same message to the same people, who aren’t necessarily the target for what they are selling.


Is your brand like Pinocchio?

Brands should strive to be “real” in social media, just like Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy. Social media enthusiasts call this being transparent. Webster’s dictionary defines transparency as free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, readily understood, and characterized by visibility or accessibility of information.

Some companies are totally transparent with who is managing their social media sites, For example, Scott Monty [@scottmonty] tweets for Ford Motor Company and Frank Eliason is the voice behind Comcast Cares [@comcastcares]. On the other hand, some companies are not transparent. This leaves an even larger responsibility on them: managing consumer expectations of the brand.

When I follow Doritos on Twitter [@DoritosUSA], I know there is not an actual chip tweeting from a bag in the back of the factory. I connect because I am familiar with the brand through other forms of advertising and my own product experiences. A couple of commercials, featuring model, Ali Landry, come to mind. I remember that Doritos had a contest for consumers to create their own commercial- that was aired during Super Bowl XLI. I expect edginess, creativity, and a youthful tone with this brand in how they communicate with me socially. I expect the brand to be consistent whether on TV, a print ad, their website, or Facebook fan page. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their Twitter bio describes their brand to a tee: “Not only are our chips packed with serious crunch and crave-able flavors, the DORITOS brand is all about intense experiences in snacking and beyond.”

How do companies manage consumer expectations through social marketing? Take a look at the brand’s marketing materials, website, and advertising in other media. If the brand were a person, what kind of person would it be? How would it speak with a consumer on a peer to peer level? Would the brand and its consumer be friends in a real-life situation? If you are not true to your brand, then your nose will grow and consumers will be turned off.

Want to learn more?
Read BusinessWeek’s article about Frank Eliason.

Read BrandWeek’s article, mentioning Scott Monty.


things to ponder... I tweet, therefore I am or I am what I tweet?

Yes, it’s true- I get a little “high” from the flattering retweets and likes on Facebook. It makes me smile to see comments from my friends and followers when I have posted something I think is hilarious. I even feel encouraged when I make a status update about something I am pondering and want a second opinion about. So, does this mean that I am addicted to generating a response? Children act out to get attention. Could social media be the platform for adults to get the same effect? Everyone has a human desire to be liked and accepted. How much is too much, though? There is a fine line between too much information and social networking for amusement.


ABC's - Audience Before Content

One of the basics that I was taught in marketing 101 is that marketers must have a target audience to spread their message to. Meaning, there is already a need for the product/ service.  All companies have to do is find the consumers that have that need and tell them about what they have to offer. In the past, marketers did this through placing print ads in specific magazines, putting TV commercials on during certain shows, and placing radio ads on particular radio stations. If the consumer wanted what a company had to offer, they would buy. If not, the message was ignored as "clutter".

Today, the rules with social marketing are different. There is strategy involved in planning which social platform will most likely reach the target audience. There is now another level to that strategy, in which customers want something in return when marketers are in their social space. Consumers do not want to be bombarded with what companies have to sell, where the company is telling the consumer what to buy and why. This is considered "clutter", even though the companies may be speaking directly to their target audience that would otherwise buy from them. Instead, they want to be the voice telling the company what they want and how they want it.


This blog has been established to provide simple, sometimes humorous explanations and information about marketing on social platforms. I will share experiences from my background in traditional, digital, and social marketing as well as case studies from my personal contacts in the marketing, advertising, and digital technology industries.

Social Media is not a big, bad, wolf.