Post social? Same as it ever was

Jon HollowayIn this guest post, Jon Holloway wishes everyone would stop over-hyping social media and get on with doing their jobs.

Post social?

Hearing that a lot lately, interesting term, another fashion accessory for the advertising world. The whole ‘social media’ infection was the one of many bright shiny objects that our industry loves to obsess about, but is that the point, was it really only advertising that obsessed over the whole social evolution.

I love the social interaction we can have as communicators, I love the ability to be able to listen, talk and more importantly learn from a section of the people who buy our products and services.

But the hype, the obsession, the blinkered snake of the agency world has driven me to distraction. Has anyone actually bothered to look at what the average Joe is doing, how it has actually seeped in to peoples lives, became part of the everyday in such a low key way. Yes, normal people are post social, but mostly because they were never pre-social. There was no big bang must have accessory for social, it was evolution, not revolution, unless you were in advertising of course.

It’s not just the agency world that has made a meal of a simple subject, brands have also had their part to play in making this mole hill a mountain. Still today we hear brands talking about being nervous of social channels, of not embracing negativity and thinking that hiding is the answer (yep, still!)

I have news for all those brands, since speech was invented, every house, bar and workplace has been a hive of good and bad chatter about you and your brand. What has changed? It’s now super easy and super global, in seconds. What hasn’t changed? Shit products, service or doing shit stuff, as a brand will get people talking negatively, as it always has.

So with the agency world over hyping and brands hiding away, what is a very simple tool has become either everything or nothing. It hasn’t replaced anything, it has however added value to the marketers toolkit, but you can guarantee there isn’t a normal Joe anywhere in the land living their life in single channels, so if you think social is the only answer, it’s time to wake up.

The answer for me is simple, awesome unique products and brands that have a real soul and a real purpose. Have a personality, have a presence and a voice, listen, learn, talk and be honest in every channel that is relevant. Super simple social, super simple communication.

Jon Holloway is head of strategy at The Works Sydney

Comments


  1. Barry White
    19 Jul 12
    4:02 pm

  2. You miss spelt your last name and I don’t think you thought the argument through.

    (There we go first post off the rank, the rest should be all roses from here)

  3. Me
    19 Jul 12
    4:09 pm

  4. “Shit products, service or doing shit stuff, as a brand will get people talking negatively, as it always has.”

    You, sir, are win.

  5. tommy mc
    19 Jul 12
    6:06 pm

  6. *tips hat*

  7. Pomstar
    20 Jul 12
    9:23 am

  8. Is this post not two years out of date ? What’s next up, print media as the platform of the future ?

  9. B
    20 Jul 12
    3:44 pm

  10. @ Barry White, you misspelt misspelt

  11. Craig
    21 Jul 12
    7:06 pm

  12. Bad products and service will alway get panned through whatever social channels are in place – BBQs or Facebook.

    However most companies really, really do not like having customers tell them how bad their best efforts are publicly. Probably because the BBQ generation still runs most of them and still doesn’t understand that an upset customer no longer influences seven people, but seven thousand.

    As social media has failed thus far to hold brands to account sufficiently that they listen to the market and improve their products we’ll have to see this happen through attrition as people shift their purchasing online.

  13. CheekyChappie
    24 Jul 12
    12:28 pm

  14. “It’s not just the agency world that has made a meal of a simple subject, brands have also had their part to play in making this mole hill a mountain” Perfectly put sir! The industry is fast dissapearing up its own butts with this overhyped and overused term. . Put social media and digital together and apparently it is one of the greatest mysteries in the known world if you listen to its chief proponents!!! Even greater than the search for life in our universe!

    “The answer for me is simple, awesome unique products and brands that have a real soul and a real purposeHave a personality, have a presence and a voice, listen, learn, talk and be honest in every channel that is relevant. Super simple social, super simple communication”. Exactly.I had that conversation the other day with the head of a “leading digital agency”?

    When I suggested there was no such thing as a “digital brand” only digital channels and a brand needed a solid architecture, proposition based on research….. and finally then a channel engagement strategy etc it was met with a blank stare. I tried to engage further saying the key aspect was the client business objective then to work out a marketing objective and strategy to achieve it you’d think I was coming from Mars(the Planet).

    Didn’t get the difference between a business, marketing or communications objective. Didn’t get brand,marketing or communications full stop. It was all about content and channels. No idea of engaging customers in context with sound communications! Why because the were a digital production company with a large studio and that’s all they could do and needed to feed the beast. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. If every problem is a nail then best you have a hammer sums it up.

  15. Anthony Owen
    30 Jul 12
    3:01 pm

  16. I agree with this article. Social Media is simply another channel to market, works really well for some industries and not so well for other industries. Social Media is here to stay in one form or another so companies should try to understand how it fits in with their marketing and communication strategy

  17. Tom
    31 Jul 12
    7:40 am

  18. Well said Jon… and about time it was said by someone. Good advertisers and agencies alike have always made the best use of the opportunities at their disposal. The sooner words like social media evangelist disappear from the advertising vernacular the better.