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Self-Awareness First, Social Media Second

So I did an interview with FOX News’ Linda Schmidt. She wanted to know what kinds of mistakes people make when they’re doing social media ad campaigns.

For some reason that day I was really focused on one kind of mistake, total sexism, and I think I may have ranted a little bit about #upforwhatever type hashtags.

The other stuff I talked about was pretty stock in trade: making sure that your social media folks are true strategists; doing your homework; and serving the brand, not just the campaign.

But we didn’t talk about all the things you should do, all the things that companies are actually getting right. Prime among them: Your social media ad campaigns must exhibit a strong degree of self-awareness.

I loved the recent spot with Neil Patrick Harris, where he was prepping with “Siri’s” help to host a Hollywood awards ceremony. The whole point of it was how you’re supposed to feign excitement when inside you couldn’t care less. At the end of it he goes, “I promise the real thing will be more sincere,” or something to that effect.

Social media is all about authenticity, false authenticity, and the negotiation between the two. Bravo! I loved it!

I love the Instagram campaigns by MimuMaxi in New York. The company is owned by two Jewish religious sisters-in-law who started out selling “skirt leggings,” which is a modest type of clothing. They mix photos of the clothing with commentary about life from their point of view. Being Jewish and raised religious myself, I am very interested in what these sisters-in-law have to say, and I keep making a mental note to go and buy the clothing, although it might be a little bit young for me.

At its core, social media is not just about being yourself. It is essentially a journey toward finding yourself. Very often people find that they can make or do things that other people want to buy – and that’s what an ad campaign should reflect. Whether it’s art, jewelry, music, recipes, or whatever – I want to know what worked for you. You! I want to know about your journey.

Last thing – social media is a very visual medium. I know that some people like to read a lot of words. My feeling is that most want to look at the pictures, and get a bit of info from the captions.

The social media bottom line: Be real, bring us close, make us cry or smile or soar. Distract us from our worries for the moment.

All opinions my own. No endorsement expressed or implied. Photo of Sigmund Freud via Wikipedia.


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