September 29, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Radio Roundtable: Losing control of your brand, Klout + Facebook, and QR codes

Radio Roundtable: Losing control of your brand, Klout + Facebook, and QR codes

This week, host Jen Zingsheim is joined by co-host Doug Haslam of Voce Communications. The two discuss the myth of loss of control of a brand, Klout’s integration with Facebook fan pages, and whether QR codes are being used effectively.


This week’s show is 32 minutes long.


  • First, Doug and Jen discuss the myth of losing control of your brand through social media. A post on Razoo titled “Does Social Fundraising Mean Losing Control of Your Brand?” Doug takes issue with the oft-trotted out concept of “you don’t control your brand,” calling it a myth. Doug points out that having a good message is a form of controlling your message–if you have a good product or service, people will want to share your message. Where brands lose control of their message is when a company’s message doesn’t match their behavior–that’s when customers push back and say “no.” Jen asks why brands don’t always seem to make the connection between their brand reputation and customer service. Doug suggests that it’s when silos exist–people see a company as a single entity, whereas companies see marketing separate from customer service.
  • Next, the two discuss the integration of Klout and Facebook in the form of perks awarded to Facebook fans, based on their Klout scores. Jen points to the example used on the Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid blog, where Kami Huyse asks if the “rewards” are available to everyone–and Audi responds ‘yes.’ Jen points out that faux-exclusivity (fauxclusivity?) isn’t helpful and might backfire on brands tempted to go that route. Jen further points out that using Klout scores seems to be drilling down too far–giving examples of a friend who loves her Audi but isn’t on Twitter–does someone with a high Klout score who has just ‘liked’ the fan page to get the Klout perk really have more influence than someone who had driven one of their cars for years? Not likely. Doug notes that this is yet another evolution of so-called “like-gating,” where additional perks are unlocked to those who like brands on Facebook. He thinks it’s interesting to test and play with, but Audi’s decision to ignore the actual Klout score devalues it off the bat. He further points out that using the +K feature should help refine influence niches–but gives the example of Danny Brown (@DannyBrown), who is an expert on sheep…apparently. Doug thinks the concept of using Klout as a ‘gate’ is interesting, but might not pan out.
  • Finally, the two discuss QR codes. A post on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation blog discusses his disappointment with how QR codes are being used, and Jen agrees. Mitch’s post states “Shill, pitch or give up data. Is that the best we can do?” Jen doesn’t think that most QR codes are worth pulling out the smartphone for–but Doug says that more and more stores are using QR codes, even ones you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Doug points out that the real question is “what happens when I go to that QR code?” and gives the example of perhaps downloading contact information into a phone so that it’s there if you need it next time. The more integrated the scanners are into phones, the more likely they are going to get used. Doug further points out that people know what bar codes are–so the behavior of scanning isn’t foreign to people. Marketing people need to put on their creative thinking caps, and go beyond coupons and advertisements.
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