I have an interesting little work-related anecdote to share. I can’t divulge details, but I got some responses on two different social media properties to some stuff I posted on behalf of a client. The response to one submission was generally quite positive, the kind of positive, direct brand interaction we hope for when we do this stuff. The responses to the other were a little combative (which is to be expected when you’re representing commercial interests in social media).
I always run my proposed submissions through another set of eyes for approval and accountability to the brand. One of the two submissions in question was brief, funny, opinionated, off-the-cuff and a little snarky. The other was a longer, more polished, upbeat and pleasant.
Guess which one got the positive response, and which one got the negative response?
You got it. The first one got the kudos, the second one got pushback.
Takeaway: “Safe” writing is not safe, at least on social media. You will get friction regardless, but you’ll get more from posting bland, flavorless comments than from being human. As a brand marketer, you may not be entirely comfortable talking this way. Or letting your agency or sponsored blogger or poster, talk this way. You simply can’t copy and paste your existing messaging into social media.
Which may be the best argument yet for using an agency or sponsoring a blogger to do your social media marketing for you. Because then, you have that layer of “brand protection.” Even if things go train-wreck wrong, there’s a degree of separation between you and whomever is participating in social media on your behalf. Plus, honestly, unless you’re prepared to really immerse yourself in the world of social media, it’s far less likely that things will go train-wreck wrong with your social media campaign if a pro is handling it than if you are.
But that’s just my $.02.