Why brands get drunk on social media

It occured to me in discussions with a client yesterday that social media, that big scary/cool exciting world (depending how far along you are with embracing it for your brand), is currently the brand equivalent of discovering alcohol as a teenager.

It makes you feel like you are the coolest dancer at the party. It’s not until much much later you realise perhaps you were dancing like your Dad and no-one thought you were cool but you.

It leads you to take risks you wouldn’t normally take, you’re ininhibited and out there. Exhilerating, and great if it works, appalling if you really did think you could fly from a 3rd story window with a pillow case as a parachute…

It doesn’t make you a different person, it just magnifies your existing personality – if you were a dull bore, you’ll be boring someone in the corner for England, but if you were already a positive person, you can be the life and soul of the gig (unless you’re on gin, of course).

All of which sobering thoughts remind us that social media, as part of a great digital strategy, can give a brand the most brilliant time, and up it’s engagement factor with consumers a magnitude or so….

But it can only do that, if the brand already has a sure view of who it is, what it wants to look like, who it wants to hang round with, and how it should dance!

So sometimes getting into social media exposes flaws in the core brand thinking, shining a light on the brand positioning like that horrid end of the night switch on in the tackier night clubs… (I’m sure we could all add some examples here!…Of brands, not tacky night clubs!)

So before the next brief wings its way to an enthusiastic agency, perhaps we should all make sure there’s a compelling core brand proposition, a critical target consumer insight, a clear objective for the social/digital strategy and a brand character that people would want to spend time with, online or offline…