We need to develop a pH test for brand content in social streams.
Short of this chemistry set solution, we can listen to Mike Proulx, senior vice president and director of social media at Hill Holliday. Here are some nuggets from his Ad Age spotlight on the preponderance of brand babble in social channels.
Today the hope and belief that brands would connect with people has in large part given way to brands publishing to them by hijacking social buzz.
Driven by the myopic goal of increasing engagement, many brands are unscrupulously on the hunt for likes, shares, followers and retweets without an overarching strategy based on core business objectives. This blind yearning for social currency is leading to incredibly irrelevant and unavailing branded content (a.k.a. advertising) that’s preying on social media.
Phrases like “hijacking social buzz” and “preying on social media” make me wince a bit. Social media isn’t a more precious form of media. However, when Proulx suggests “this blind yearning for social currency is leading to incredibly irrelevant and unavailing branded content (a.k.a. advertising),” I say “Amen.”
The trick with digital is the always-on nature of possibility. A brand can make light of topics in the news, in effort to seem human, relevant and available. However, the same brand can just as easily appear flat and out of touch.
Let’s look at a few samples from this morning on Twitter. If you will, please use our comments here to grade these brand-generated Tweets:
— Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) October 3, 2013
— IntelInvolved (@Intelinvolved) October 2, 2013
The Beercade consists of 2 buttons and a joystick, a rustic throwback #CreateTech
— 4A's (@4As) October 3, 2013
Bye bye car, hello weight set. See these home garages creatively transformed into workout studios, bedrooms & more. http://t.co/UmDnADqBPH
— Redfin (@Redfin) October 3, 2013
Clay oven roasted lamb leg, spinach, grilled peppers, fennel-fatali pepper purée http://t.co/h46rOdpYk9
— Wildwood Restaurant (@wildwoodpdx) October 3, 2013
It’s Name Your Car Day! What is your car’s name?
— State Farm (@StateFarm) October 2, 2013