How soon is now?

Culture in a 24 / 7 world

The “C”-Curve of Social Media Campaign Awareness

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I’ve been struggling to reconcile an issue for a little while now. As I look at my Twitter and Facebook streams it is quite obvious that there are hundreds of people with all the answers regarding social media. I see a non-stop torrent of links to tips, key learnings, best practices and everything else under the Sun. But on the other hand, it seems every week brings a new example of brand self-immolation on some social network.  How can this be? In an entire lifetime you couldn’t read all the expert content on the How-Tos of social media, and yet…

Well, first I think it’s important to understand that we probably only hear about a fraction of the social media campaigns that are activated, and those fall into two categories: wildly successful and catastrophic. Take a look at this:

 

The "C"-Curve of Social Media Campaign Awareness. The "C" stands for Culture.

The “C”-Curve of Social Media Campaign Awareness. The “C” stands for Culture.

Why do social media campaigns, at least the ones we are aware of, tend to fall into one of these two extremes? I believe it is because of the way they connect, or disconnect, with culture. The best campaigns play with, align, leverage or otherwise amplify something happening in culture. From kittens to Star Wars to the Oscars, the winners usually are the ones that we can relate to, that are working with some sort of visual shorthand for an idea or concept we all know.

Conversely, the ones that bomb often do so due to cultural tone-deafness. When you don’t understand the conventions of a platform, or you don’t realize that you are using a term that the “kids” use to signify distaste, or you don’t think your post has racial, sexual or religious overtones, well, you are headed for trouble.

Strategy is important. Solid technical and tactical execution is important. But I think an understanding of culture, especially when we are talking about social media, trumps everything else.

 

 

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99 Memes But My Periodic Table Ain’t One

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Handily compiled by Greg Rutter here.  All your favorites, including:

01) Grape Stomp
02) Charlie Bit Me
03) Chocolate Rain
04) Dancing Baby
05) Post Secret
06) Charlie The Unicorn
07) Mentos and Diet Coke
08) Numa Numa
09) Peanut Butter Jelly Time
10) George Lucas In Love
11) You’re The Man Now Dog
12) Yatta
13) Star Wars Kid
14) Bubb Rubb
15) The Flying Spaghetti Monster
16) Dramatic Chipmunk
17) Homestar Runner

This list goes to 99.

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