Friday, 14 February 2014

Bad Behaviours

Behaviour is rather like Communication: the plural used to be just that, but it seems these days you have to stick an "s" on the end of both, so today I'm going to be talking Bad Behaviours on social media. From people and brands.

This is mostly via McCann Truth Central who, in their report The Truth about Privacy, looked at which behaviours from people (I do wish they wouldn't say consumers) and brands are judged to be cool, or anything but, in the US at least.

The cooler things you can do on social media as an individual include posting about major life events - babies, weddings being tops, although de-friending fake friends is also rated as pretty cool. As for brands, well, it's "allowing for in-store purchases using a smartphone" (retailers take note) as well as "putting relevant content on social media." Ah, but what is relevant, you may ask. Perhaps answered most easily by looking at what is not relevant.

For people and brands, the bad behaviours are the 4 Big Bad B's:

BULLYING - pretty obvious for people, but for brands, it's stuff like using your data without permission, such as Facebook's "sponsored stories"

BORING - all those latte macchiatos and "I've run 4.33333km" and for brands, the wonders of your production process on your YouTube channel, unless it's done in a particularly wonderful way

BOASTING - I've just checked in at the Ritz/Guess who got 5 As in her A levels?/my book is Number 56 in the obscure-self-published-fantasy-chart/our Facebook page now has 88m Likes (although we bought most of those...)

BEGGING - be my friend/share my funny cat photo/review my obscure fantasy book/like our nondescript Facebook page/send us a picture of you with Bloggo brand...

So, no surprise that the least cool behaviours on social media for people include adding people you don't know as friends/connections and posting frequent "selfies" on Instagram.

And, for brands, inviting consumers to enter competitions and asking users to share a personal story for fun.

So, when you're looking at your branded content, it's a good start to check that it's entertaining, informative or useful.

And that it's not bullying, boasting, boring or begging.

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