Why social media by committee is a bad idea

You may have seen the recent post that appeared on Facebook from a well-known multi-national bank.

The post in question took a recent viral video, the St. Johnstone youth team's Ball in a Bin Challenge, added the bank's brand banner, some text and posted unto the world in the hope of getting some of that delicious viral nectar.

The video, however, had absolutely no relevance to the copy or the brand, or their products or services. It's not even top-of-the-funnel. It's just irrelevant and smacks of a desperate need for engagement. Any engagement. Any how. Any way.

And yet, that the brand in question are huge. They probably have an enormous marketing arm, with a ton of creative talent, but they resort to this lowest common denominator stuff.

Content, yes. But where's the context?

I've watched the video several times and still haven't managed to link the copy to video in any way.

I concluded, as did others, that's it's just a poor piece of content with all the hallmarks of 'marketing chancer', and we can all laugh and scratch our heads.

But then my eyes were drawn to the comments section, which is where, if you're a social media professional worth his or her salt, the red mist inevitably descends.

A comment quite rightly asks the question we've all been pondering: what's the relevance to banking?

Fair enough. Any response, one would hope, sheds some light on their rationale, we'll all feel silly for not 'getting it', offer a hearty round of applause and all move on.

Not quite.

One small paragraph of PR-approved, corporate robot speak later and the hackles were up. Who wrote this? Why didn't it answer the question? Wait...Was this drawn up by committee?!

Then as final insult, and as a pointlessly-inept attempt to pull the wool over our eyes and convince readers that a human has just entered the conversation, it's signed off with a name.

I'm not going to reproduce the post here, save to say that you needn't be a marketer to know when a bunch of legal and compliance bods have sat in a room and drawn up a bunch of stock responses, without consulting a social media professional.

Yes, social media is one of the newer kids on the block, but come on, it's been around for a decade now and if you still can't get a handle on the protocols of social media engagement then you've no business being there at all.

We live in a transparent age where every little thing is scrutinised to an incredible degree.

Yes, this means any idiot can open a laptop and start spouting forth their thoughts and feelings about a product or service (I know I do!), so all the more reason to employ a social media expert who knows how to navigate these potentially treacherous waters.

For it is they who will ultimately front your business publicly online. Making uninformed social media decisions by committee, with no knowledge of the medium, just to ensure that all legal and compliance requirements are met, will do little more than confuse and irritate your desired audience.

Of course, there are checks and balances to take into account, but give your social media expert the tools and let them figure out the best way to present the messages. After all, isn't that what you hired them for in the first place?

OOTM team

We’re a team with expertise in different areas of marketing who work ridiculously well together, challenging and bouncing ideas off each other.


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