Brand Babble Is Social Media Pollution

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:

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About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.