Brands on Twitter: when “all is not well”

I have nothing against burritos, but at the risk of calling out a brand on their Twitter usage this didn’t work…for me.


Did it work for the brand in question? Perhaps, depending on their strategy – eg., we will engage/reply with designated hashtag “x” times per day (“though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”…) Yes, that’s admittedly a stretch, and a flawed one at that, but it’s the only one that comes to mind.

Could it have worked for me? Possibly. If…

– I was a foodie blogger with a love for all things burrito…and,
– the reply was in the form of iambic pentameter, character count limitation aside…and,
– I had previously interacted with the brand in question, or at least made it known I was a fan.

When does it work? Well, this one kind of did.


In this case, I had previously tweeted about Keifer Sutherland’s “24” and used their hashtag. Was their tweet to me meaningful? Did they retweet my reply back to them? Yes and no, but at least I noticed they were paying attention and aware that I was a fan, even though they were pushing out the same question to a bunch of their followers.

It’s been said before, but if you’re a brand on Twitter and want to engage with who you follow, make it meaningful. Know thy audience. (“This above all: to thine own self be true”)

And, finally, for the love of Hamlet!, make your hashtags relevant – I can’t tell if #MuchoCreatives is a creative ad agency marketing burritos, a restaurant, or a burrito brand. Sure, in the final analysis you will rack up the number of hashtag mentions, but it will largely be a meaningless number.

(Dear MuchoCreativeHQ: consider that last hashtag mention on the house.)


Marketing and mentorship, in real time

The past couple of days, my professional and personal passions have merged.  Although I missed – in person – this year’s Mesh (Toronto’s perennial digital media conference), I was monitoring some of the Twitter conversations via #meshcon. At the same time, I’ve been reflecting on the breakneck speed of the content (“official”, mainstream media and user-generated) that is being shared online with respect to next week’s release of the much anticipated Led Zeppelin remasters.

lzremasters copy

I may take slight issue with some of his social media and “web practices” over the last couple of years, but Jimmy Page has rightfully, and practically single-handedly, solidified Led Zeppelin’s legacy and place in the history of music. Not just classic rock, but music. Period. The time was “gonna come” (sorry), and he stepped up.

There is no doubt in my mind that the love, care, time and effort Jimmy has devoted to the Led Zeppelin remasters will continue to ripple throughout the entire music industry for some time. (And this is when it all began to “mesh”.)

As well, I suspect that any band – whether they’ve been around for 10, 20 or 40 years – will now look at their catalogue in a completely new way. Gone will be the act of just releasing a remastered CD with an accompanying 2-page press release, a one-off in Classic Rock Magazine and a morning tv show appearance.

The entirety of a band’s musical and creative development as it relates to their recording process will be considered.  “Companion material” will be the new catch phrase…and just as much weight – with care, precision and respect – will be devoted to the creation and execution of the actual roll-out of such a project.

Access, interviews (from Jimmy Fallon to, contests, live web-streamed listening events, photo opps, official Facebook updates and YouTube uploads – all in perfect sync and deserving of the material itself and its legacy. On this point alone, Jimmy has given the passionate fanbase much to take in. But to other artists, he has given a marketing template – a gift – that exemplifies a full-on classy, “no compromise” strength of vision.

Marketing isn’t a four-letter word.  It’s passion. It begins with “know thyself” and your fans and pay attention to them…then, give them what they want…because the sweet spot is, it’s what you want, too.

For the bands who are considering a similar project, has Jimmy set the bar too high? Maybe. But that’s what mentors do.

There is no doubt in my mind. His mentorship continues, mesh too.

Here’s hoping Flipboard takes the best of Zite

After reading the news this morning of Flipboard‘s acquisition of Zite, I remain conflicted. (Initially launched for iPad, both Flipboard and Zite are content aggregators, presenting a user’s social media feeds and other website content chosen by the user and displayed much like a magazine.)

To some who know me, Flipboard played a major role when I decided to get an iPad back in 2010. After seeing Robert Scoble‘s video of his interview with Flipboard founder Mike McCue along with a demonstration of the app’s power, I flipped. (Sorry).

Fast forward to early 2011, I became aware of Zite, a Canadian start-up. Only a few months later, in the summer of 2011, Zite was acquired by CNN. Similar to Flipboard, I came to realize a couple of features that, for me, put Zite ahead of Flipboard, albeit only slightly.

First, was Zite’s ability to learn what content you consumed, based on articles you liked, disliked and shared, and apply that knowledge by serving you a slightly more meaningful reading experience, often a serendipitous one – I often discovered content on Zite not captured by Flipboard.

Secondly, Zite’s ability to integrate more than one Twitter feed per user account. Perhaps the average Twitter user doesn’t need more than one account/persona; but many business people do operate multiple accounts — either on behalf of clients, or for their own corporate divisions or brands. Quite often I easily shared Zite content to two or three Twitter feeds, and this multiple account integration was seamless with few blips.

These, then and now, represent a level of customization that Flipboard hasn’t integrated…yet. I’m hoping they will.

Dear Jimmy

…with all due respect, your online/social media strategy just isn’t doing it. Please. is 2 years old today yet it’s still recycling OTDs. Visitors have to sign up with a name and email address to even surf the site, yet you’re not taking full advantage of even having that info…the one website I would actually like to receive emails from isn’t reaching out.

What are some things I would do?

Tweak your “On This Day” (OTD) strategy to be better aligned with how people use Twitter, Facebook, etc. I get there could be practical reasons for not archiving your OTD’s – the hassle (perhaps?) of hosting accompanying audio or video files) but it’s problematic…understandable, but in this Twitter/Facebook/ world, problematic. Some folks aren’t on Twitter every day and may miss the occasional OTD. Those same folk may, however, may be glued to their email or Facebook or Tumblr accounts checking in multiple times a day. You already have our email addresses, why not just blast out an email letting us know of the OTD update?

Bring your OTD content right into your site. By way of a kind of calendar feature where your site members can click on a specific day, repurpose that content so visitors can catch up on some updates they may have missed…and share them amongst their friends and followers. Yes, I realize that goes against the current strategy, but many of those updates have been so creatively executed (not to mention your own accompanying commentary, beautifully cheeky at times, shining through) it’s a shame that they’re currently up for only 24 hours.

Freshen up your website design. Okay, okay, it’s only 2 years old, but, why not? If some upcoming Led Zeppelin re-releases are really on your sched before the end of this year, why not leverage the timing of them with a freshening up of your site? Its structure and navigation works – just a little design tweaking.

Dynamically pull in user-generated and other third-party content. You might not totally appreciate the extent to which folks are sharing and creating content, but we’re out here, and some of it is quite exceptional. There are technical, hands-off ways to create and maintain a connection (communion?) with your fans that enhance your website’s content, keeping it fresh, without much administrative work on your team’s part.

Now, citing 4 specific examples above flys in the face of how any social media strategy should be approached – because I’ve jumped immediately to some tactics. First things first: it does depend on your overall objectives, what you want to achieve, your overall content strategy, the resources you have to execute, and how you want to present your brand and legacy to your fans, all to the degree that you feel personally comfortable in doing so…in putting yourself “out here.”

I get that you’re private with mysterious tendencies – 😉 – but it is possible to stay current and “social media relevant” without encroaching on your privacy. You have over 1 million Facebook likes but barely 55,000 Twitter followers …fans on soundcloud, a raging fandom on tumblr, etc. etc., yet the activity on all those JP accounts appears to have fallen off a cliff.

It’s time. Change up the strategy. I guess there could be some things already in the works. If not, suffice to say, call/tweet/ping me… 😉 … this Taurus (with Moon in Cancer, I might add) would love the challenge.