Social Media – A Tweet in Time….er….

Some more happy horsedroppings, this time from that venerable organ, the WSJ. Read it here.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124925830240300343.html

On first glance this all seems fine – big names – Ford, Pepsi, Coke etc etc etc – all got a social media presence, all got social media teams, must be important.

Then delve down a bit.

So Ford found that people were complaining about the shutting down of a website. C’mon guys. So what. Is this actually going to affect sales of your cars (because that’s what, as an auto manufacturer, you’re all about and don’t you forget it). No, it’s not. Therefore, all the time that your people spent ‘rectifying the situation’ was, in fact, time wasted.

So Coke found that some guy with 10,000 followers was having difficulty reclaiming a promotion. They fixed it for him. He chaged his avatar to a picture of him with a bottle of Coke. Hot-diggety-dog-dump and a big fat whoop-de-do. Did it sell more Coke? Probably not. Did it impact on this guy’s 10,000 followers? Probably not. Why? because most of those followers don’t actually exist or, if they do, aren’t active. See the link below:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/08/13/firm-reports-twitter-is-40-useless-babble-were-0-surprised?icid=sphere_wpcom_inline

So, Coke, all that time your people spent sorting it out? Wasted.  In fact, the WSJ article is just plain wrong, on many, many different levels. Not least of which is that it reveals that these companies have such desperate cases of Shiny Object Syndrome that they are lashing undoubtedly obscene amounts of money on the salaries and benefits packages of entire teams of ‘social media strategists’.

C’mon. Facebook and Twitter (there’s another thing wrong with this article – gives it the lie in fact – these are the only two social media mentioned) are passing fads. There’s no burgeoning new comms/marketing world being signalled by social media/online social networking. It’s a chimaera. It doesn’t exist – and neither, therefore, does ‘social media strategy’ or, indeed, ‘social media strategists’. Waste of money and several perfectly good workstations.

As an aside, I saw that Dominos Pizza were speaking at a conference recently – one of those that hapless comms and marketing people like us pay oodles of cash to go to on the off-chance we might learn something. And they were there to talk about the issues around employees posting uncontrolled video footage on YouTube and other social media. Talk about shutting the door after the horse had buggered off – and what did anyone think they were going to learn from Dominos, anyway. I was amazed.

Finally for today, may I express my dismay that the digital/social media strategists employed, at great cost, by Coke, appear to have managed to get permission for a group of people to post to social media sites (probably FaceBook and Twitter – as the only ones that anyone really knows) without going through the PR department. Someone could do with talking to Dominos, now I think about it.

I love the smell of impending disaster in the morning, it smells of – hmmm – Meat Feast?  Or is it random brown sugary liquid? I’m not sure………..

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Filed under Communications Strategy, Crisis Management, External Communications, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media

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