I came across two posts today that I wanted to share with you. The first one is by Al Ries called “Social Media Not the Answer for Weak Brands,” and the second post is called “When Big Brands SHOULDN’T Listen to Their Customers.” Both of these posts highlight valuable lessons and learnings from the social media world which is why I wanted to share them with you here. Let’s start off with the post by Al Ries.
In Al’s post he basically argues that social media are a set of tactics that come from a much larger strategic focus. Al also states that social media is not going to save companies that aren’t doing well; companies have larger issues to focus on before getting involved in the social media space. I completely agree with Al and while I do think that tools such as Twitter and Facebook are valuable, I don’t think that they should be put ahead of a marketing/business strategy; they should be treated as what they are, tools. A company that has a poor marketing strategy is not going to be able to compensate for that by creating a Facebook or Twitter account. I highly recommend that everyone read Al’s post as he provides some great examples and ideas. Again, the point is that social media is not going to solve all of your company’s problems, you have to start with your higher level business strategies; those need to be sound before you do anything else.
The second post on when big brands shouldn’t listen to their customers is a great example of when a brand needs to stand it’s ground. In the post, Aerocles (pen name) sites the Gap and the AFA which is boycotting the Gap for not including the word “Christmas” on all of its marketing and advertising campaigns and collateral. The Gap does do a lot of holiday promotion but in order to stay impartial to any religion or holiday the company avoids actually using the word Christmas. The argument that the AFA makes is absolutely ridiculous and Aerocles make a great point in his article. If the Gap uses Christmas in its advertising then shouldn’t it also talk about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all the other holiday’s as well? The whole point of this post highlights this example as an instance in which a company (Gap) should NOT listen to its customers (the AFA is getting Gap customers to boycott their stores).
I highly recommend that you read both of these posts and think about the scenarios and examples that are presented in both of them. There is a lot that we can apply from these articles in future social business efforts.
What did you think of the two articles?