Another week, another social media screw-up. When will brands and people ever learn? The social network is a public entity and has to be respected as much as any other channel that has an audience.
The list is endless of how companies treat social media as a place to show off about their brands, believing the world loves them as much as they love themselves. This is certainly not the case with many brands and boy is it easy to engage a ‘hater’ audience.
Coca-Cola Australia did it a couple of months ago when they decided to experiment with some storytelling on their Facebook page. Its marketing decision-makers must have pigged out on a conference somewhere leading them to this ridiculous strategy.
The idea was that the company’s ‘fans’ would add a word to the previous status update and create a collective story. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the page became a salacious story that went along the lines of: ADELE.YOU. DIRTY. **** I’D. LIKE. TO. LICK etc
Some suggested that this idea was so stupid that it was surely guerilla marketing that would get publicity and more people would sign up to the Coca-Cola Australia Facebook page. Well, if that’s true we may as well all give up now.
So that brings us to the @sweden handle on Twitter and that country’s similarly bonkers attempt to understand and experiment with social media. In brief, the idea was for the Twitter page to be uploaded by Sweden’s citizens, every week a different person would post comments from that address.
Naturally the point was to show how egalitarian the country was and how it was a community of interesting and disparate characters. Cough, cough, that is certainly true when a stream of comments about Jews was posted by one Sonja Abrahamsson, who bizarrely is STILL tweeting from @sweden.
Now, most of the world likes Sweden (apart from the other Scandies) but this is insane. Twitter isn’t a dumb pipe where opinions can be just thrown down, it is a vibrant always-on conversation where reputations are easily destroyed. As I said in the introduction, when will people learn?
It’s all very well individuals making themselves look stupid on Twitter, and we all like brands misunderstanding, but countries? Jesus, you couldn’t make it up. Oh well, at least it gives us something to talk/think about. The world would be a boring place if we all played safe etc.
On that note, I’ve decided to come out today and do my first-ever presentation when I’m not taking the piss or drunk from the night before. I am ‘keynoting’ in Dublin on ‘How to be free in the digital age’. I’ve never been so nervous… but it’s certainly making me feel as if I’m alive, which after all is what it’s all about.
Naturally I’ll be tweeting about it later as will the people in the audience. If you’re interested the hashtag is #dotconf and the other speakers are likely to be brilliant, so tune in if you have the time.