A condescending blogpost

Social media. The ‘new’ marketing trick with which brands, marketers & agencies have been struggling since about 2005 I wish to believe. It allows for better and more engaging connections between people but also between brands and people. At least that is the whole idea.

As a result, we have brands begging us to like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, all so you can be informed even better of what they have to say. The friends/followers race is on, social media consultants all over the world are making good money to help brands to stay on top of their game.

You should take a look at the Condescending Corporate Brand Page on Facebook. It will help you understand why most of us are doing it wrong. Very wrong. The social media race is all about tactics, nothing about strategy. And it’s definitely not about consumers. Every social media consultant will tell you to post 3-4 times a week (or is it 5-6 times now?), not to forget about Saturdays and Sundays, use images since they tend to work well and make sure there’s enough variance in the updates between news, polls, jokes, … all to delight you and me at the other end of the internet. And it annoys the hell out of me. I actually feel less insulted by 30” commercials than by the average brand Facebook status update these days.

Simply putting a Powerpoint on Slideshare doesn’t make it a social object. All the share buttons in the world aren’t going to make your content spread. It’s not more interesting because it uses Facebook Connect. Using top topicals about the Superbowl or Oscars don’t make your social presence more interesting. And last but not least, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, if you want to get people to talk about your brand or product make sure it’s damn interesting.

Storytelling is the marketing buzzword of today, while it’s actually nothing new. Think about the great TV commercials of all time, that was some really great storytelling. And an average Facebook update definitely isn’t great storytelling. At Duval Guillaume Modem we believe it isn’t just about storytelling, it’s about giving people a story to tell (to each other). Think about what it is you want people to talk about when they think about your brand, and make great content (even if not that often) that stands out and that make people want to like you, want to talk about you.



  1. John Mally says:

    Cool article.

    How do you feel about BIG brands switching to smaller advertising agencies because of more personal attention, flexibility, creativity, costs?

    Do you think it’s a genuine trend?


    John Mally

    1. Kris Hoet says:

      I don’t think the immediate benefit is cost or attention, big agencies give you that as well. I do believe that smaller agencies can be a lot more agile and as such faster in getting things done. For clients as well as for themselves, and don’t underestimate the latter since agencies need to do some reinvention as well. An agency of 50 people can do that, one of 500 less so.

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