Social transparency

There are countless examples of brands who have got themselves into a pickle on social media – Vodafone, Habitat, McDonalds, British Gas to name but a few.  We often forget that consumers are having a conversation, that isn’t ours as marketers and advertisers – we have to earn their trust and be relevant enough to join it.  I couldn’t help but smile when Kelloggs joined the list this week, I’m sure many agency and client hours were spent dreaming up a campaign that allowed consumers to join in with the brands philanthropic efforts to feed hungry children.  The challenge is, donations linked to social engagement such as ‘1 RT = 1 breakfast for a vulnerable child‘ can be seen as cheap tactics and it later transpired that these RT’s actually made no difference to the level of charitable donation.  So whilst many felt their altruistic acts were benefiting vulnerable children, it was actually just a cheap ploy for social engagement no doubt to hit their year end KPI’s.  I’m currently working on a campaign at work with a charitable donation, all will be revealed in the next week or so and we too dabbled with the idea of going down a similar route to Kelloggs, but finally decided to keep complete transparency as our charitable donation is a fixed amount – and after this little case study, I’m so glad we did!