The real time shit sandwich detector

In this guest post, Clive Burcham of The Conscience Organisation, relishes the instant feedback of social media.

I’ve been making brand driven content since 1996 and often I’ve been so close to the work that I couldn’t tell the difference between if we were chomping on a shit sandwich or savouring the crème de la creme. From an audience perspective, we wouldn’t know the difference for weeks or months. What excites me most now is that we know within 24 hours if we’ve developed shit or cream.  

There are new real time measures in town… likes and views!

Both these measures are becoming commonplace in a client’s health-check list of campaign progress: do people like, view, share or comment on what we’ve created? The sentiment of comments and velocity of shares or views has become an additional measure of success – and an increasingly essential one in the changing communication environment where online has become such a critical channel of reach. Measuring reactivity gives a brand manager a read on the real-time initial success of campaigns rather than having to wait for fall out or awards.

What has changed for me is the conception and creative process of content ideas. This is where we need to concentrate more of our attention. That doesn’t mean forgetting about creating something we find beautiful, astonishing or mind-blowing. It just means keeping in mind the content’s potential for engagement. Are there trigger points in it that will motivate interactivity? Is there is social propellant?

So when making online content, the fundamental question we need to ask ourselves is: what value is this adding to those who we intend to view and like it? This way, it’s first stop likes and views; next stop Cannes, Old Spice, yadda yadda!

We are all discovering some rudimentary rules of engagement in the world of social exchange. You can measure relevancy and advocacy through views, likes and comments … you will quickly know: you rock or you suck. Cream rises to the top and shit sinks to the bottom pretty damn quick … And as mentioned, I’ve rolled around in the shit and the cream.

Some of the most learned brands understand that is a real measure of success today. You should know within an hour to 24 whether what you’ve crafted has been successful. If it’s not, use the next 24 hours working out how you can re-shape, re-edit, re-upload and re-measure. In other words, we now all have a second bite of the cherry. As the Dalai Lama says, “When you lose, do not lose the lesson.” Ask ‘how can I reshape it quickly, how can I improve it?’. After all, it’s kinda what broadcaster have been doing for years with their daily ratings reports.

This is powerful, exciting and will expedite our industry skills growth, and effect our client’s ultimate success.

I guess I will know within a minute or two if I’ve just made another shit sandwich.


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