Social This, Social That

Gareth Kay of Modernista! draws the distinction between social media and social brands. I don’t really get the distinction, but I do understand the following passage.

It means building brands that are inherently open, generous and want to include you. It means developing communication that lets you join the dots and complete the story rather than telling you what to do (in the same way at every point of contact). It means thinking about what it is that people like to do and working back from there to figure out what it is we can do as a brand to be useful, helpful or entertaining rather than starting from what we think first. It means listening. It means having many little conversations not one shouting match.

Alan Wolk is also blogging about social media. His take I understand completely.

…as we bring our “dispatches from the frontier” back to the people in “the real world” we need to be able to put everything into perspective. To think about why someone outside our bubble would use these apps or want to see certain content. To realize how provincial and uninformed we sound if we promote things to clients without providing them with a well-formed reason for our recommendations that takes the actual audience into account. Not ourselves and our friends, but the people who’ll actually use them.

I left comments on both of these posts. On Kay’s post I said I’ve yet to encounter a brand manager who is genuinely interested in listening. On Wolk’s, I said I feel myself burning out on all this shiz, day by day. I dropped Facebook recently, but I see no reason to stop there. Social media is ONE TOOL in the tool box. You can’t build a house with just a screwdriver.
How do you feel about it?



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.