Lumina Blog Post

Is Social Media a bunch of bull#%!@?

#branding #socialmedia #communication #ROI

Tonight we went to a presentation by Mark Ritson (@markritson), at the Melbourne Business School, on how really effective Social Media is as a marketing tool. Mark touched on many weak points of social media and on the overall lack of clarity around ROI models. 

However, since we play in the communication space, we look at things from a different angle: is Social Media bad for brands or are brands bad at using Social Media? In our experience the latter is true.

We agree on many things that Mark said during the presentation. I, as well, truly believe that people are not brands, it just doesn't make sense and it's an extreme interpretation of a marketing concept. As Mark pointed out, as human beings we are far more complex than a can of beans or sugared water. But when it comes to social media, I think that the language used to communicate with that medium is always either disregarded or downplayed. It's like waving a French flag to interact and engage with more French people, and whereas you could get some attention depending on the level of patriotism, you need to speak their language to communicate with them and promote your products to them, if that's your commercial objective.

Social Media is a new language, as we said in our presentation Social Media for CEOs, and most of the organisations I have interacted with, in the social media environment, don't get it and don't 'speak' it properly, or not in a way that makes it an effective communication tool.

So, what's the solution? To give up on social media for corporate communications? Or to see it as a new medium requiring a new language? Obviously we support the new language.

The funny thing is that as people we are already using a new language for social media interactions, made of images, short remarks, smileys, etc. It's all more informal, even compared to how we write emails to a friend for example.

The question is, how difficult is it to learn this new language, and what are the hurdles that we need to overcome to transpose the use of this language from our personal lives to our corporate lives?

Because, at the end of the day, companies and brands are made of people and we already know what we want to engage with and what we are entertained by.

In any case, well done to Mark Ritson for a great and fun presentation with a new angle on a much debated topic.

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