From Paul Carr’s TechCrunch piece on integrated advertising, especially on Twitter (the piece is wonderfully entitled NSFW: Give Me Ad-Free Conversation or Give Me Death (Please RT):
A tweet isn’t a “piece of content”. It isn’t editorial. No matter whether we’re talking about what we’re having for lunch or suggesting a new movie or sharing a piece of news, what we’re really doing is having a good old-fashioned conversation. Following people on Twitter is like organising the world’s largest cocktail party – we’ve decided who’s opinions we trust, and we’ve invited them to come into our homes and talk to us about things they are genuinely interested in. The moment people start screwing around with that principle, the whole system collapses.
Couldn’t define the current and/or idealized nature of Twitter any better. As marketers (Carr: “What I do is Good and Pure; what they do is Bad and Dirty.” So true) we are faced with a world where any traditional notion of advertising is easily avoided by all smart people and most not-so-smart. So we leverage ourselves into content and “conversations” because people like those. At which point, like an airborne contaminant, we risk ruining that content/conversation experience by rendering it no longer genuine (the word “authentic” is currently in my “social media cuss jar” via which folks in our meetings are fined for egregious buzzword use*).
One answer to this is to leave the conversations alone in order to maintain their
authentic real and genuine nature, thus retaining what is currently a quite effective marketing tool.
Over/under on that happening? Thought so.
* Social media cuss jar is combined with Internet jargon cuss jar and includes such words and phrases as “100,000 foot level”, “drill down”, and the execrable “best practices”. You get the picture.
art by Myaku-nya