In a series of blogs for tech experts Forth Metrics, I explore the ever-changing social media landscape. How can PRs separate valuable voices from white noise? What’s the secret to successful blogger outreach? Can online influence ever be effectively measured? And who the hell can keep up with it all anyway? Turns out, this brave new world is not so different: it still revolves around great content, authentic voices and meaningful engagement.
Retail Giant challenged a selection of UK fashion bloggers to post an outfit each day for a week showcasing items from their new collection. One of my favourite bloggers was among them. (Again, I don’t want to name names as I’d prefer to respect their privacy, so will call them Fab Fashion Blogger.) The blogger who got the most votes on Facebook won a trip to Paris. Sounds simple, right?
Wrong. Every day for six days, Fab Fashion Blogger won the style challenge by a massive margin. On day seven, she lost.
The following morning, Retail Giant put up a post congratulating Fab Fashion Blogger and declaring her the winner. A post they promptly removed an hour later, sheepishly admitting they didn’t quite understand their own rules. In fact, the winning blogger was the one who attracted the most votes on any one single outfit. Something that was not made clear at all in the rules.
Here’s what I think this shows. Retail Giant was more interested in getting a truckload of ‘likes’ on Facebook than it was in showing its own products in the best possible light. When will companies learn that it’s better to have 10 genuine fans than 100 flakey followers?
To my mind, it backfired, as complaints came flooding in. This is the kind of cynical engagement with social media that sets companies back a mile in their customers’ eyes. It’s at best a waste of their marketing money and at worst a damaging insight into their corporate greed.
Top image from here
As a featured blogger on EU cinema network Support Your Local Cinema, I have just penned an article exploring how social networks can be utilised by businesses.
The article draws on the lessons I have learned as editor of Channel 4 social network 38minutes. I have focused on the following opportunities:
- Forging new collaborations
- Accessing industry contacts
- Lobbying for change
- Free advertising
- Real-life connections
I have also included some top tips for managing your social media presence as a business.
Read my full article here.
Image by SPazzø on Flickr under Creative Commons