The Angry Man Approach to Social Media Promotion

September 12, 2012 at 11:12 am 1 comment

BS Detector Watch — image courtesy of http://www.technabob.com

An excellent blog post caught my eye yesterday, as it was designed to. Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer published a piece entitled “‘Social Business’ is Bullshit,” based on a presentation he gave to a recent conference on the topic. No doubt that got everyone’s attention.

After the provocative headline, he clarifies his target is the term social business, not the actual practices it tries to describe:

But here’s a more full explanation. I do think “social business” is a bullshit term. It’s a phrase someone coined so they could charge a higher hourly rate for their services. I don’t know who first began using it but they have an entire generation of marketing practitioners something to sell that sounds neat, important and complex. Instead of charging $100 an hour or $150 an hour for social media marketing, we can say, “I’m a social business strategist,” and that’s worth $250 or $300 an hour. If you’ve worked with big brands or a reputable research firm (enough so that you’re title was or is “analyst”) you can go from $500 or so to over $1000 an hour by saying you do “social business” rather than whatever it is you really sell.

This is an effective example of what I call the “angry man” approach to social media promotion. There’s a lot of noise and dreck out there, and sometimes its smart business strategy to try and cut through with a very strong, contentious opinion. The angry man post is designed to solicit comments, many of which may well disagree.

That’s fine, and in fact draws more attention to the content being promoted. As long as the opinion is genuine, in strategy  and you are willing to defend your position logically, the angry man post can be an effective tool for social media promotion.

Beyond the delivery, I like Jason’s message here. The social media industry definitely mints new terms and acronyms on a regular basis that can often cloud (pun intended), rather than define. I’m also in agreement with Social Media Explorer’s focus on ROI, which is key at my firm and something all my clients demand from their engagements. Jason calls his “Full Frontal ROI,” demonstrating he’s no stranger to a catchy marketing term.

And I especially like his focus on the now discredited term change management as the biggest challenge, not the tools. I’ve written frequently here about how when pursuing a content marketing and social media promotion strategy, the challenge is cultural not technical. Using the tools can be learned, but can you think about the business differently?

Can you tear down internal silos and empower external audiences, as Jason describes it? I describe it as moving from interruption marketing to conversational marketing in conversations with clients.

If a company can make that shift, it’s not only OK to get a little angry in your communications. It’s good business strategy.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. StrategicGuy (@StrategicGuy)  |  September 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Great post, Chris. In particular, I think it was important that you included this point:

    “…opinion is genuine, in strategy and you are willing to defend your position logically, the angry man post can be an effective tool for social media promotion.”

    So much in the blogosphere and in social networks is misguided anger for the sole purpose of garnering attention. A strong opinion with a purpose that encourages debate is part of the foundation of an effective content strategy.

    Reply

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