The best way to go viral on social media is to do something incredibly stupid or unexpected. Or both. Is there anything better than banter between Tesco Mobile and a consumer? Not unless Yorkshire Tea, Jaffa Cakes and Cadburys get involved.
There are so many occasions where this sort of interaction happens between big brands these days. People like humour and it’s just not cool to be cool anymore. We all think we’re funny, whether we are or not. So if you’re an artist, company or event and you’re trying to build a loyal fan base who can relate to you on a personal level as well as a professional one - why so serious?
Going back a bit, but when Susan Boyle was preparing for her album launch in October 2012, her PR team sent this set of tweets:
Seriously - #susanalbumparty. What do you see? Whatever way your mind works it was made pretty clear how the majorities do when the hashtag exploded with thousands of people informing thousands of other people about Su’s Anal Bum Party.
Of course don’t get me wrong - there are rules. Tesco Mobiles conversation is unexpected and there is no hidden message other than to raise awareness and make them more likable and relatable to consumers. Susan Boyle’s tweet however has a purpose and it’s important that the content doesn’t get lost within the stupidity. Which, in this case it doesn’t because (as long as you read it correctly) it promotes exactly what it is.
There was a lot of conversation at the time based around whether this was done on purpose by Susan’s PR Company. If it was or it wasn’t a congratulations is in order. It completely backs up the term ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’. The original tweet was changed back to #SusansAlbumParty pretty quickly, which suggests it was a mistake. Whether Susan was or wasn’t having an anal bum party… who cares? Well, by that I mean why should her PR team care, I would be somewhat intrigued as to whether it was true. At the end of the day people were reminded of her existence and a wider audience was made aware that she exists. That’s what is key in this industry.
I searched the hashtag again earlier today and the last tweet with the hashtag was 6 minutes ago. It was tweeted over 2 years ago! If that’s not good marketing, I don’t know what is.
This might seem unimportant because they’re already big names and this seems unlikely to people with smaller fan bases. The point is that good interaction is fundamental. Speak to people like you know them. If people are putting the time into enjoying your music and investing money on you then it is not enough to just be a good musician anymore (although it does help). You have to put time into your consumers. Now you’re more accessible and people expect you to act like you are more accessible. It’s not cool to be cool. Also, it’s so easy to illegally download music and if they’re paying for your music goddammit they want you to be grateful.
I’m not saying you have to be funny all the time. Not even people who make a career out of being funny can be funny all the time. I’m saying when you are feeling witty - share it with your followers. You never know, it might pay off.
I’ll leave you with my favourite hashtag gone wrong of all time. Although I implore you not to search it whilst you’re in public, which is a mistake I made whilst I was in the library last year.
Chester Literature Festival once tried out the hashtag #clitfest – if you’re feeling daring then check it out for yourself.
(Full conversation of the big brands at http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/this-is-the-best-twitter-conversation-you-will#.srG0B3QLW)
Written by Sophie Small
Follow Sophie on twitter @RestlessNorth
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