A #SMEG wouldn’t recognise @theashes if it bit him on the nose

Sometimes you read things which make you smile, and then you stumble upon so much rubbish it just make you want to smack someone in the mouth.

The fact that these things happen within 2 minutes of each other is often a vagary of being a twitter addict. Why should tonight be any different. Amidst the bathos of #twitdef, and the Social Media Club Sydney twitter stream a new Social Media star called @theashes was being born.

The fact this twitter account wasn’t a little urn which resides in London took some time to sink in. When it did, the humour took hold. Needless to say the person being “picked on” didn’t respond very well to the teasing. However with some thanks to #gettheashestotheashes hashtag, opportunities were identified and the clever people at a Telephone Company and an Airline realised that this was a huge opportunity for them. WIN.

Meantime a young girl in the USA gets a trip to Australia – the fact she’ll be bored senseless at a cricket match being completely beside the point. WIN.

Let’s assume it is part jealousy and part disdain for the corporate monsters who are leaching off her faux-reputation, but some of the reaction to this was pretty ordinary. And that’s putting it nicely.

While we celebrate the luck of a young girl in getting the trip of a lifetime due to a rather fortunate coincidence, Social Media Marketers are already using some behavioural metrics so they can figure out how to turn it into a Facebook campaign for the brand.

Social Media Marketers don’t want their “brands” identifying something quickly and acting on it for some good short term, and perhaps even long term benefits. They want you to hire them for a stalkbook campaign or some-such in order to prove that what they do is valuable on a standalone basis.

So watch out for the copycat campaigns of the near future where Airlines will give seats away for some sporting event to the disengaged audience at Facebook. No doubt they will be able to “measure the success of the campaign”, but they won’t be able to replicate it. The Brand Awareness and long term goodwill generated by forking out for that one seat is going to be unmeasurable and it’ll likely be far better value for money than giving Facebook $100K to get a similar result.

Many social media marketers ability to communicate is likely be listed in any old marketing handbook but their understanding of anyone outside their own anechoic chambers appears to be dependant on whether those people live on Facebook or can be “targetted in a Channel”.

As Jonathan Crossfield said tonight: “SM is not just about Fb and Twitter, it’s about how my audience wants to communicate”. Right now people are on Facebook to Communicate. It may be the Mall compared to Twitters The Street, but it sure ain’t for “speaking at” or whichever other Engaged #SMEG campaign is running at the minute.

So congrats to the “new” social media users. The babysitter from Massachusetts, the sports fan, the music lover and the person far removed from friends.  Those who Twitter and Facebook (and all the other Channels which the Marketers seem to oddly miss), were really created as communiction spaces for. Congratulations for showing that in a period of rampant arsehattery from the Governments, Media and Marketing covens, there really is life on bloody twitter and stinking Facebook. Human Life.


6 thoughts on “A #SMEG wouldn’t recognise @theashes if it bit him on the nose

  1. Thanks for picking up my Tweet tonight.

    Given the topic of tonight’s SMCSYD event, it was suggested that Twitter is great for customer service and speaking ‘with’ your audience, while Facebook is a great way to ‘provide content’ with ‘little to no follow up’ from an audience who ‘like’ an brand and then have little engagement beyond that.

    My tweet was a question, not a statement, perhaps poorly phrased though I’d assumed the question mark at the end would have made that clear. Based on what the speakers were saying, I don’t think my question was grossly out of context or incorrect.

    By no means am I a Social Media expert, guru or anything in between. Social Media has little to do with my day job, if anything at all.

    At a people level I’m fascinated by how we engage and discuss almost anything online – and hence I participate. Though I guess that’s the beauty of social media, we all perceive and participate differently.


  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention A #SMEG wouldn’t recognise @theashes if it bit him on the nose « Making Hay -- Topsy.com

  3. Grant, I toyed with linking to the tweet or not. I was absolutely clear it was a question from you (the question mark is there), but assumed it was influenced by something you had heard at the event.
    So being that those sorts of statements are not unusual from those I call #SMEG I chose it as an example.
    Happy to update, remove and correct the record to ensure that isn’t clear

    • Similarly I toyed with the idea of deleting the Tweet when you first contested it on Twitter; though I decided that it was innocent enough to leave, learn from and move on.

      I don’t mind the link, it’s a good example of context and what you’re talking about.


  4. No SMEGS. Marcus Westbury came up with the idea, I came up with the hashtag and ran with it, then shadowy forces swooped in and made everything happen.

    Good example of something born of Twitter co-opted very quickly by the corporate world.

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