Six steps for controlling brand static in 2012

Here are just a few resolutions we’d suggest to marketers to help cut down on the sheer static and clutter that’s multiplying through the digital media universe.  It’s beginning to create a flood of BS and non-content that, in the long run, only damages the chance of creating real relationships with customers and consumers.

1. “Like” like you mean it. Don’t use the “Like” function on Facebook just to capture mass lists.  Because social media users will come to resent it, and won’t ever believe in the sincerity of your brand or message if you’re spamming them with coupon offers.

2. Lay off the auto-directs on Twitter. If you’re going to use social media as a direct marketing tool, at least try to individualize your messaging.  Undifferentiated auto-directs make you look lazy, impersonal and crass.

3. Abusing LinkedIn. There are two facets to this: Trying to make connections without any kind of personalized message, first of all – but that’s not as egregious as spamming Discussion Groups with pitches that, more often than not, have nothing to do with context.  If you’ve got a worthwhile POV or build on the existing discussion, or can launch an interesting thread, you’ll do yourself a thousand times more good than with intrusive spamming.

4. Don’t advertise – connect. What’s the difference?  Social media allows connection and true dialogue, not one-way message or promo blitzing.  Do those, and you’ll impugn yourself with social media users.  And, frankly, if you want to advertise…there are much more cost-effective

5. Don’t call yourself a guru, unless you are. And if you’re truly a guru, you don’t have to blow hard and hot about your expertise: you’ll have a community of followers who can attest to your competence, and a quiver full of superb insights and counsel you can lay on the rest of us to prove your value.  Beware the “guru” whose primary soapbox seems to be all about proclaiming his or her guruhood.

6. Hit the reset button…regularly. Social media, mobile media and online media are evolving at an exponential rate.  So it’s worthwhile for each and every brand, in each and every category, to re-examine their assumptions, their toolkits and their digital marketing strategy at the onset of every year — and don’t even rest on your laurels quarter-by-quarter.  Innovations and striking new platforms, apps and tools are reaching marketers and consumers nearly every day, and staying on top of them — and in step with your competition — requires constant due diligence to install and coordinate these tools, and to make sure the messages you’re putting out aren’t past their refresh date.

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