MIMA – Your Brand Is Not My Friend

alanAnother exciting event for the interactive Community. I must admit that Alan Wolk challenged some of my assumptions, destroyed a couple of myths, and actually supported one view that I held for some time already.

Supported view: an agency’s role in social media is helping the client with establishing content strategy, training the client how to use the tool, setting the tool, and explaining best practices. No blog or Twitter ghost-writing or any other “imposter” activities on behalf of the client.

Great points from the presentation:

  • Our world changed from Ad > Purchase…  to Ad > Google > Purchase. Implications: Advertising has to be honest. Advertising now need to get people to Google.
  • Some brands are “prom kings” and everybody want to be their friend, but 99% of brands are not in this category. 99% of “non-prom king” brands need to behave differently.

How to use social media correctly for one of 99% of “non-prom king” brands:

  1. Identify a need of your customers with which you can help
  2. Give something to the customers (a coupon – something useful)
  3. Approach the process as a sales person (not to pretend to be something different)
  4. Use Twitter for customer service or to share news. Don’t use it to sell.
  5. Don’t push it. In social media the more unobtrusive you can be the better

Whole Foods “does Facebook right.” The company connects each channel to the web site and also connects the web site to each channel. It provides useful information without attempting to sell on social media channels. You can place the same information (promote a coupon or contest) on every channel – repetition is totally accepted.


More points:

  • Thought leadership in a specific area – setup Delicious link collection and connect it to Facebook page
  • LinkedIn is a place to be for b-to-b

Agency hints

  • Most agencies are not setup to handle social mediamima
  • Digital part of the agencies can be treated as a stepchild – traditional media is “converted” into something to be used within social media – what does not fit
  • Clients are ahead of the agencies
  • PR is ahead of the game
  • Recommendation for an agency to have a PR function, combine user experience with strategy, have people who are on the top of changing technology
  • Marketers should become interdisciplinary proficient
  • Start small: don’t do anything: look, listen…
  • Social media is a huge opportunity for advertisers, but they should not take a “usual” approach.

As usually, it was a pleasure to meet a great group of people… who even helped me to verify an iPhone question I answered at work a couple of hours earlier…