Twenty one (i)

I mentioned the Goorooz got me thinking about what they didn’t say as well as what they did; their disagreeable omissions. Perhaps they were just hoisted by their own platitudes.

I must have heard “facebook strategy”, “twitter strategy” and “social strategy” four or five dozen times during that meeting. I believe I was the only one to mention our business strategy in the vain hope there might be a connection. The hint garnered a brief nod but was by and large ignored. (I was tempted to ask if this meeting had been won on the back of a “telephone strategy”.)

Examples of “radical social success” came thick and fast – in confectionery, music, consumer electronics, retail and travel. Apparently we’re all the same people (agreed) and we all want the same “social engagement” with all kinds of brands (not as far as I’m concerned).

By the way, if engagement means the action of occupying or attracting someone’s interest or attention – and it does, I looked it up in a dictionary – what’s the difference between “social engagement” and plain old “engagement” exactly?

Can you tell my feathers were ruffled?

And I know I have a tendency to bang on about an organization’s mission (why we exist) and vision (what we want to be) a lot, but if social engagement is the be all and end all wouldn’t we expect more annual reports to feature Chairman comments like:

– “We’re totally stoked to have grown retweets 220% this year.”

– “Our brand ‘Likes’ are up significantly. Now I’m liking that.”

– “Our customer service platform coped successfully with a three-fold increase in social engagement this year.”

I’ve not seen a Chairman’s report with such apparently unmoored information, unmoored from the vision the organization is pursuing. And potentially flawed.

Take the ‘Likes’. It seems to me there’s real confusion here. I get the idea that brand owners think the ‘Likes’ come for one reason – “they love us!” – and Joe Public another – “thanks for the discount coupon”. Actually, make that: “Thanks for the discount coupon; now would you mind not getting in my face so much else I’m going to have to ‘Unlike’ you.”

And what about the engagement measure; is it necessarily a good thing? Might it not indicate the possibility that something was causing problems out there in the marketplace?

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