April 16, 2013

Social Media Morons

There is no describing the stupidity of some people.

While there are imbeciles in every field and at every level, for some reason marketing and advertising seem to attract a disproportionate share of them. And of all the disciplines within advertising and marketing, social media seems to be the one these people gravitate to.

In a completely inexplicable display of ineptitude and injudiciousness some idiot at the food website Epicurious sent out the following tweets:
In honor of Boston and New England, may we suggest: whole grain cranberry scones!
Boston, our hearts are with you. Here's a bowl of breakfast energy we could all use to start today
Yes, the advertising and marketing industries have been guilty of stupidity, insensitivity, and just plain cluelessness for years. But social media maniacs have taken brainlessness to a new level.

This is a display of stupidity that transcends the periodic attempts of marketers to cash in on tragedy. This is sickening and inexcusable.


Con Frantzeskos said...

The major problem is that most people in social media are completely clueless when it comes to marketing. Also, most marketers are clueless when it comes to social media, so there's a massive disjoint there. "I can't tell the social media person off, because I don't have the requisite experience".

Being on brand is about being on brand, it doesn't matter what channel it is in.

Twitter is useless for anything other than customer service. Writing a tweet or Facebook Status update is the equivalent to a media release, but with the reach of an outbound call centre call. Would you put that shit in a media release or have your customer service people contact consumers with that shit? No.

Kumara S Raghavendra said...

It seems to be common practice to compose a tweet with the first half comprising of a trending topic, and the second a line about the brand. They are social media morons not just for doing this, but for not realising that at this rate, bots will have taken their jobs in the time they take to compose the stupid tweet.

Graham Strong said...

To expand on what Con said -- social media interns (in my experience) tend to be young, disconnected from the rest of the marketing department in terms of message, and largely unsupervised. I agree that part of it is that the marketers are clueless about social media, but I also think social media marketing is also treated as a "bonus" (and I'm generalizing here...) -- they still rely on their traditional marketing efforts, and anything they generate through FB and Twitter is a bonus. Therefore, they operate outside of the brand, as it were.

Given the fact that so many 19-23 year olds are at the helm of what is really a fairly major communication outlet for many companies, it's a wonder more gaffs like this haven't happened. The question is, will marketing departments -- the ones who are supposed to know better -- continue to let this happen?


speake said...

I was not a tragedy: it was an atrocity.

26 and trippin' said...

Spot on, Bob. Very grotesque. I read on ABCnews that the videos of the explosions at the finish line went viral... Went viral, huh. Apparently terrorist attacks can go viral. And when I was learning more about the attack, I suppose I was engaging?

The worst part is that companies actually pay these folks livable wages. In a previous rant Bob, you mentioned that companies shouldn't ignore all the socialites, but also shouldn't ignore them. However, I bet if a big brand with a big "following" stopped doing any social media "marketing" - no one would notice, especially not the finance department.

Doron Greenspan said...

I felt similarly the day the bombings happened when watching pre-roll ads trying to get video updates. Pre-roll ads should be turned off during a tragedy. Nobody should profit from atrocities.

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paulbenjou said...

Sickened by the callous moron that tweeted these

simon billing said...

http://current.com/shows/the-war-room/videos/crowdsourcing-for-evidence-in-the-aftermath-of-a-terror-attack And now apparently instead of interviewing witnesses police will be 'crowd sourcing evidence' and instead of fucking great cabinets full of case files they'll have terabytes of 'big data'.

AJ said...

We all make mistakes when we're learning, we've all done dumb things but there's normally a management structure in place to act as a filter while you're learning. The unfortunate thing is that grads who are hired to work in social media and are managed by people who don't understand it (ie haven't trained them properly and don't have correct approval processes in place) are making their mistakes very publicly, to the detriment of the brand and their own careers. Just because the medium is relatively cheap and can be executed quickly does not mean it doesn't deserve the same attention to detail as more traditional methods.

Theses tweets are stupid and incredibly insensitive, but they feel like they've been written by someone trying really hard to do a good job of turning lemons into lemon aid. That indicates someone inexperienced like a grad with no one more senior supporting them.

Marketing Futures said...

Why is is that your tweet directing us to this article reads as follows:

[The percent of retail purchases done via mobile is equal to the percent of people in the U.S. missing a limb - http://dld.bz/bQV ]

Do explain ...

adcontrarian said...

That tweet was posted the previous day and was directed at this post: http://adcontrarian.blogspot.com/2013/04/mobile-everything-everywhere.html. A horrible coincidence that the next day the Boston atrocity occurred.

Shanghai61 said...

Why does any company that isn't actually involved in this (e.g. is Boston-based, or had employees in the race) feel the need to comment anyway?

I really don't feel any need to know what Epicurious - or my shampoo brand for that matter - 'thinks' about things like this. Such gratuitous displays of broadcast emotion seem to be increasingly common. That in itself is bad enough; what's worse when they're done with such an appalling tin ear.

Social media 'experts please note: it's called social media for a reason - precisely because it's not commercial. So will you all please retain some basic sense of social propriety, decency and decorum and just shut the fuck up.

Marketing Futures said...

and you're keeping the post there becaaaause...

adcontrarian said...

Because I don't cheat. If I wrote something stupid, I deserve to pay the price.

adcontrarian said...

On further consideration, I'm going to edit the post.

Conor O'Sullivan said...

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"Be a Part of Channel NewsAsia’s Breaking News Coverage on the Japan Tsunami

"Channel NewsAsia: Massive Tsunami Hits Japan after Massive Quake

"A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook Japan in the early afternoon today, unleashing a powerful tsunami that wrecked(sic) havoc along the streets of coastal towns.

"Book your spots in the Weekday Evening News Bundle as the channel brings viewers comprehensive coverage reports on the disaster with extended versions of news bulletins tonight.

"Call our sales representatives now!"

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Belinda Summers said...

You just can't believe how idiotic social media can get. The Boston bombing is a tragedy, and using that as leverage to increase sales is not only sickening, but downright dumb. If people like them think this will improve their lead generation work, then we really need to reconsider whether social media is really sensible or not.

Like what Shanghai61 said, social media is not commercial. So to all those who use it for selling, oh please... have a little common sense.

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Matt Sharper said...

thanks you!

Matt Sharper said...

Also, most marketers are clueless when it comes to social media

utter nonsense

Matt Sharper said...

are you thick?


A horrible coincidence that the next day the Boston atrocity occurred.

Shanghai61 said...

Nothing has changed ... this just in