Home > Uncategorized > Social Media is not about marketing alone

Social Media is not about marketing alone

Yesterday my daughter was recounting her school day and mentioned that in one of her classes a teacher showed a picture of a woman eating a snail. When asked for reactions all the students went ‘yeww’, ‘gross’ etc etc. Then the teacher stopped them and asked them to say something positive about the picture. And the kids thought for a minute and went ‘that looks interesting’, ‘maybe it is tasty’ etc.

It reminded me of a workshop I attended years ago when the picture of a wheel barrow was shown on the screen and we were asked to comment on the picture. We went ‘the wheels are too small’, ‘the handle is too long’ etc. And the course coordinator then asked us to focus on the positive. After a while we went ‘it can carry heavier loads’, ‘ doesn’t require a strong man to carry it’ etc.

I am also reminded of the many parties/dinners that I have attended where a large proportion of the time is spent criticizing the government, a neighbour, a colleague etc.

It appears, by nature, most human are wired to find the negative. Some of us keep it to ourselves, some of us are vocal about it.

As technology has evolved it has become easier for people to complain. Blogs, bulletin boards, Twitter are awash with people moaning about something or the other.

Add to the mix, the general public (that includes you and me) to believe a lot of stuff we see on-line. Even The US government, fired an Agriculture Department employee because she apparently made racist remarks which came to light in a video posted on-line. Subsequently, it turns out it was a cleverly edited video and Barrack Obama had to apologise.

So brands operating in the social media space need to be aware of these 3 facts

People’s tendency to be negative

Technology that helps gather and spread this on-line

People’s inclination to believe what they read on the web

And be prepared to handle this when they step in.

I was talking to a brand marketer who had set up a Facebook page for his brand, an airline, and found that pretty soon the pages was full of people complaining about all kinds of things like delayed flights, cool food, long queues, pricing issues etc. Now they are trying to find a way to divert this to customer service.

While getting a social media strategy in place is often led by the marketing function, brands should actively recognise that consumers would want to converse about nearly anything that is top of their mind. And sometimes this strays into customer service so social media strategies for brands need to be viewed not just as a marketing function but a cross functional one.

Last thing a brand wants is to be flamed on-line for some ‘small’ thing and not have a plan in place/take a very long time to respond.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,
  1. jayanth dn
    August 20, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Hi harish,
    being an avid online user. I have never thought in this mode. Your interesting post has given a different perspective on the Social marketing.
    Thanks for sharing your thought

  1. August 20, 2010 at 2:41 am

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