Many of you may remember that during my run as managing editor of Media Bullseye, I compiled a regular roundup of the best of the PR and social media blogosphere (and podosphere). I’m happy to announce that the Jots have returned! On a weekly basis, I’ll cover the major topics causing a stir, and add a little commentary of my own.
My topics for this week cover a lot of the same ground Jen, Ike Pigott, and I went over on last Friday’s Roundtable show (Old Spice’s YouTube gamble, social media egos run amok), with a few new topics thrown in (are you ready for the Facebook movie?).
I’m not normally one to beat a dead horse, as the “Old Spice Guy” campaign has been done for over a week, but its repercussions continue to result in some good posts well into this week. What were the repercussions, besides some good publicity? Did sales improve? Was that even the goal? I think this campaign will have a lasting impact, particularly on those looking to bring more creativity to their social media marketing efforts.
Not everyone was so enamored, however, as we learn in this week’s Jots, which I will get to…right now:
Something Stinks – BL Ochman – While admitting that the campaign itself was both hilarious and creative, BL Ochman questions Old Spice’s strategy. Arguing that simply conducting a well done social media campaign is not enough, BL points out that brand awareness can only get you so far. After that, you need to show measureable financial results to make the campaign a real success. “The bottom line: there is no such thing as a social media strategy. There is business strategy incorporating social media. But if that strategy doesn’t include sales, it’s nothing more than a tactic. Tactics don’t move markets. (Bonus problem: if your target audience thinks your product sucks, nothing else matters.)”
The Apple Press Conference – Shel Holtz – In another story making waves from last week, many in the PR blogosphere are still buzzing about Apple’s attempt to handle the public perception of the iPhone 4’s battery issues. Shel Holtz argues that Apple’s presser last week was smug, dismissive and the absolute wrong way to handle crisis communications (I can’t say I disagree). Shel’s post encapsulates every problem I had with Jobs’ tactics: when faced with disappointed customers, don’t point fingers, just fix it. “Sound crisis principles require companies to (among other things) acknowledge the aggrieved party without dismissing their complaints. When Jobs shrugged off the problem as typical of smartphones in general, he did exactly that. And while the millions of iPhone 4 users who have not experienced the problem may have smugly nodded in agreement, I’m sure those who had suffered dropped calls on their iPhone 4s—but not on their 3Gs or 3GSs—felt belittled.”
ZOMG The Facebook Movie – Scott Monty – I think I saw this excellent trailer for “The Social Network,” aka “the Facebook movie” among my friends and geeks, about 100 different times before actually seeing it in the theater the other night. It was all over Facebook, Twitter, and my email inbox from the moment it dropped. Scott Monty took the film as an excuse to have some fun, casting his own social media movie (with Johnny Carson playing himself, of course). This leaves the question, who would play you? (For me, obviously Drew Barrymore.) (If Angelina is busy, of course.) “If they were holding open casting calls for extras and you were going to be featured, what famous person, dead or alive, would play you in the movie? Leave a comment below or reply with a post on your own blog with a link back to this post.”
500 Million – Mitch Joel – Speaking of Facebook, did you hear it hit 500 million users this week? Of course you did, who didn’t? Mitch Joel wrote one of the better reactions to this milestone, with a thoughtful reflection on what Facebook really is, and how we use it. 500 million sounds like a lot, but in reality, it’s small: “Marketers are focusing on the 500 million number and wondering how they can get their brands, products and services in front of them. They’re not focusing on how complex and tangled the social graph actually is. They’re also not focusing on why people connect on Facebook (hint: it is – for the most part – a place to share information with those who aren’t overly close with you). These are not people who are idly sitting by and waiting to consume content. They are on Facebook to create, edit, share and tag information (mostly personal information).”
Wah, Wah, Wah – Geoff Livingston – There isn’t much more annoying than publicly complaining about the pitfalls of success. Case in point, social media “stars” who complain about all the requests they get for their time. I don’t think anyone should work for free, and I can imagine that getting flooded with emails and not having time to even respond to them all, much less fulfill everyone’s requests would be a somewhat annoying side effect of success. I still can’t muster up much sympathy, and agree wholeheartedly with Geoff: get over it, and figure out how to say no. Because complaining about it on Twitter kind of makes you look like a jerk. Or to quote that 20th century philosopher Chandler Bing, “Oh no! My wallets too small for all my twenties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!” Or, as Geoff puts it: “Allowing oneself to feel victimized by success is not really an accurate way to look at things. There are no victims in this, only volunteers. We have blogged, checked-in, and tweeted ourselves into this position, one we wanted from the outset. Really, these are opportunities, great choices on how to spend our time. Building intelligent systems to scale our work, or to better select the opportunities we really want and say no to the rest is the great entrepreneurial challenge here.”