S01E05 – Burn Social Media Down

Talking About Marketing Podcast by Steve Davis and David Olney

There are times you simply need to destroy what exists in order to replace it with something better

We go back to 2015 to start this episode of Talking About Marketing, in which we consider whether we should burn social media down and develop new strategies for marketing in the social channels.

The discussion centres around an insight from Forrester Research in 2015 that stated, "social ads aren’t social; they’re just ads."

The key message is a big like an Emporer's New Clothes moment; yes, brands do stick out like sore thumbs when trying to mingle amid humans wanting to catch up and joke around with each other.

For our first segment, however, Steve goes very "meta" by playing what he said on FIVEaa about what David Olney had told him about changing jobs and resolving the tension between finding fulfillment in Staus vs Value.

In the mailbag segment, Steve shares a question about what to do when you get an email prompting you to renew a premium WordPress plugin.

And for a dose of perspicacity (the sharpening of our minds), David and Steve revisit the Smiths Chips Gobbledok and chew over whether or not it would still have "crunch" through today?

We hope you find this helpful.

Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes

02:15  Person  This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.

Status vs Value

In Steve's regular radio segment about small business on FIVEaa with Richard Pascoe, he recently reflected on the story of Talking About Marketing co-presenter, David Olney, and his realisation that the biggest fear he had when leaving Adelaide University as a lecturer to pursue life as a consultant, was the giving up of his status.

As Steve explained on the air, David noted that blind people have low status in our society, so to risk "lecturer" status was a big deal until he started tasting what it was like to bring value to clients. The resounding accolades he began receiving have since drowned out the echoes of his lecturer status.

In this segment, we discuss what that might mean for us, in our day-to-day work. Are we holding on to a role or business because of the perceived status it brings? And, if so, is that coming at the cost of getting intrinsic and extrinsic rewards awaiting us when we focus on truly bringing value to every interaction we have with clients and/or customers?

As David recently wrote on his blog:

At University I had a reasonable amount of status, tried to add value for my students, and was not valued by the institution. As a Strategic Communication professional, I probably don’t have much status (I assume I am now seen as David the marketing guy), am valued by my colleagues, and add value for our clients. Having now experienced these two different combinations of status and value, I can categorically state that I prefer being David the marketing guy. Being valued and adding value is more rewarding and important to me than status.

12:35  Principles  This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.

Burn Social Media Down

This discussion on how to approach social media in an effective way as marketers, arose from the seemingly evergreen 2015 article by Augie Ray, entitled, Burn It Down, Start From Scratch And Build a Social Media Strategy That Works.

The pertinent points are summarised by Augie, thus:

  • People take social media seriously, and so should business.
  • Consumers work hard to block and ignore brand messaging.
  • Consumers do not trust brand content.
  • Consumers count on brands to be present in social media, particularly on Facebook.
  • Consumers expect brands to engage on consumers' terms.
  • Consumers want fast, responsive customer care in social media.
  • Consumers want to collaborate with brands to develop better products.
  • Brands win when they get people talking to each other, not about the brand's content but about the actual Customer Experience.

As we discuss in the episode, "doing social media right" means being present but also learning to measure the right things. As Augie says:

Toss out your social media scorecard immediately. The first step to refocus social activities on what matters is to change what is measured. Stop rewarding employees or agencies for generating engagement that fails to deliver business benefit and start measuring what matters--changes in customer loyalty or consideration, positive and authentic Word of Mouth, inbound traffic that converts, quality lead acquisition and customer satisfaction.

And there's a recurring theme from this discussion that runs through our podcast, especially episode one about Telling Your Story, namely, that:

Brands that win in the social era will not be better at storytelling but in using social media to hear, help, educate, encourage, empower, connect and respond to their customers and prospects as individuals.

We hope this discussion gives you plenty of food for thought.

23:36  Problems  This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.

Do premium plugins need updating?

Steve shared an email from Donald, who had forwarded on an email about a renewal invoice for a premium WordPress plugin.

His question was, do we need to renew this?

The short answer is, yes. While premium WordPress plugins will continue to operate after a license has expired, not renewing means you don't get access to updates.

As we know, plugin updates don't only include improvements but also improve crucial safety and security tweaks that could mean the difference between your site working or your site breaking. Or, worse still, your site staying safe or your site being hacked.

Our advice is always to renew these plugins but to double-check you are still using them first (it has happened that someone has decided to stop using a plugin in favour of a better one while forgetting to cancel the premium subscription).

26:40  Perspicacity  This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case stude from the past.

The Smiths Chips Gobbledok

Chippy, chippy, chippy.

If you're old enough to remember ads in the 1990s, you'll remember the "creepy", furry Gobbledok used by Smiths Chips to connect people to the allure of the rustling of a chip bag and the crunch of their chips.

Steve and David discuss the ad series, look at consumer feedback under the ad on YouTube (which is split between lovers and haters), and ponder whether such ads would work today.

You might be surprised by the conversation that arises.

Send us questions and comments for the Talked About Marketing podcast

Get helpful marketing articles and links to our latest podcast episodes