As I sit down to write this post, I wish I could tell you exactly why a lot of brand social content sucks, but that would require some form of concrete evidence, of which I do not have for you.
Instead, I think it’s appropriate to share a few different ways that brands, in my opinion, fail when it comes to social.
These are by no means the only reasons, but they come to mind immediately when I think of the ways brands suck at social.
Terrified of Being Vilified
When brands see something like this happen, they freeze.
The public revolts. Media outlets drag their name through the mud. Calls go out for people to be fired. There is renewed interest in getting everything approved by legal.
It’s disappointing. But nobody wants to be the next brand to make a mistake on social media, so they play it safe instead of trying to create compelling content that will be consumed by their community.
Slaves to the Hashtag
If there’s a holiday coming up, you can bet your you-know-what a brand is going to jump into that conversation. But rather than creating something useful, they slap together a bland post so that they can be “part of the conversation”; a post that adds absolutely nothing to “the conversation.”
It’s checking the box in every sense of that term.
There is no rule that says you have to participate. If your brand doesn’t have a logical connection to said holiday (See below) it’s okay to ignore it.
Apathy for the Community
This is the one that drives me up a wall. If the brand is not setting out to drive conversation or solve a problem, why do they have a social presence in the first place? To gain as many followers as necessary so they can say they engage with a community of followers?
I hope that’s not the case.
Yeah, it’s great if you have 20,000 individuals following your account. But what’s the benefit if you’re just sharing shitty marketing images with lame hashtags in order to reach your post quota for the week?
In my humble opinion, brands should (and certainly have the capabilities to) go out of their way to create social content that their fans legitimately want to engage with and share with their friends.
Even something as simple as a creative GIF can be noteworthy when it’s done right. With the amount of resources most major brands have at their disposal, they have no excuse to create content that sucks.
If they’re mailing it in, Twitter would be better off without them.