Thursday, April 26, 2012

Social Media Superiority

What makes one company's social media more successful than its competitors? Is it the strategy they've chosen? Do they have superior "proprietary tracking software"? (which is pretty much always BS when it comes to social media, please call me out if you can), or are the people in charge of Red Bull's social media really just that much cooler than the people in charge of Nestle...

I know it sounds insane, but I honestly believe that on the really tough social media conundrums (i.e. marketing for a undesirable product) it comes down to the latter of the three questions I've just proposed. My attempt here is to shed some light on a different, and probably controversial, perspective that I've notice on this crazy journey through life and advertising. Obviously it is important to have a social strategy (click to read best social media article ever), and it is possible for people to learn the ropes of social media marketing, but deep down inside of me, a little voice keeps speaking up and saying: "Maybe some people are just cooler..."

But then what is cool? How do we define it? Why are they cool? Things start to become quite convoluted and everyone has a different opinion, which is one thing that makes our world such a wonderfully interesting place :). I start thinking back to middle school and AIM, and why some kids had more buddies on their buddy list; were they cooler than me? And then came Myspace and eventually Facebook my Junior year of high school. Why were some kids so popular, so many more likes on their status, so many friends, and others, unfortunately, so uninteresting....Well we all know from playing videos games that the only person we can blame for our own failure, loosing at Fifa, Madden, etc. is the person holding the controller....and yes, that is ourselves. Which makes me wonder, at the end of the day, how much of social media failure/success can be attributed to a company's strategy and how much of the blame/accolade should go to the person physically sitting behind the keyboard managing hootsuite and delivering the tangible communication it takes to create a relationship.

So lets move away from the idea of the "coolness" of the person in control of social media account X and translate it into terms that we can agree on...I think it's safe to say here that the term for the trait we are looking to put a finger on is "relatable". Things that I think are AWESOME, are not so cool to 13 year olds today (who will one day be at the top of the pyramid when it comes to purchase power).

With harsh economic times for college graduates, it's been a rude awakening to see so many of my fellows grads in service jobs or signing up for the Army. Which is always what my dad told me I could do when I complained about school...The MAIN POINT I'm trying to make here is that managing social media is not hard. It does take a mature, responsible, and emotionally stable college graduate, but shouldn't social media jobs that are focused on marketing to 20 somethings be managed by 20 somethings? (Again, Social Media management takes time, and time = $$$) I don't can be a pretty hip 34 year old...but you still won't have as solid of a connection with the primary target demographic as someone in the desired age range. Unless of course, that older person dedicated an insane amount of time  trying to get into the mind of their younger counterparts. But this isn't acting, and there are a ton of digital natives out there who are ready to take on this task. As social media continues to become more prevalent it will be interesting to see what the role of a social media manager morphs into...perhaps just a stop on the way to creative director? What do you think?

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