Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Social media is not maturing, marketers are just getting lazy in their application of it.

In the last few months we've seen a couple of high profile brands not learn from those before them and subject themselves to the social media pisstake. They make a statement about their brand and the community takes them down, peg by peg. It's a game, it's over pretty quick and people don't hold their breath for the next one but they engage when it does.

Here's Qantas

Here's Woollies

Here's Coles.

And I don't think it's a case of marketers giving everyone else a go, nor is it the idea that the market has matured as Matt Burgess from iReckon reckons.
Social media hasn't matured. The idea that all businesses should be active in social media has, but the use of the channel is pretty two dimensional.

We see the same types of activations within social media repeatedly- content posts for engagement, promotions/deals, gamification and maybe some infotainment. It's so repetitive and people know what to expect.

The biggest flaw is the overarching idea that these brands should integrate themselves into people's spaces to get them to engage and talk about the brand with no reward at all. It's also why so many of the mistakes/pisstakes happen. Social media came about in the first place because of people's needs for transparency and these brands' content posts reinforce that need for transparency via the consumer backlash. The one good thing to come out of these pisstakes would be for brands to acknowledge their bad practices that consumers refer to and rectify them.

It also tells me that most marketers are being lazy with the platforms. Especially since we're already seeing wear out with the engagement/deal model that so many companies are using on Facebook in particular. The approach brands are employing should be more about how they can create better experiences for their customers based on the business offering. That's less about how can brands engage with customers to get them to talk about the brand but more about how to use new media tools/platforms in a way that marries consumer engagement to solid business offering.

Mature?! pffffft.