You Guys Do Social, Right?
Mad Men notwithstanding, our industry can strike many on the outside as a mystery (I'm an outsider myself. I came in from the cold, shivering and shocked, and I still feel a little dizzy...). The FAQs we get paint broad strokes of confusion. "Wait, so do you make commercials?"..."Wait, so are you the one behind those pop ups?"..."What is Steve Jobs like in person?" We do our best to answer patiently and not come off as presumptuous jerks. But you know what is the most perplexing question of all?: "Sooo...do you guys do social?"
We have a stock answer, so allow me to copy and paste. You've heard this all before, but indulge me:
Social marketing is not something you have to try to do. We do not sit around the table and scratch social ideas onto a chalkboard. It is not a niche. It's everything. It's the whole point of advertising. The goal of any project is to make it some combination of interesting and entertaining. If you do that, it's not social-by-design. It's social-by-nature. If you make something compelling, somebody will want to share it, and that's always been a defining feature of memorable marketing. The only thing that's changed is that our technology has evolved to incubate these kinds of interactions. You don't need to snip a funny ad out of the paper - you just need to click share. People have always been "doing social," it's just that, frankly, it's a lot easier these days, and so you've got to know how to do it in the right way. And more than any other platform, Facebook has made "social" second-nature.
Our task, then, is not to just know how to make something that will thrive in an environment of serious social sharing. That's a given - anything we make should be solid enough to thrive in that environment, regardless of its intended medium. Instead, the task is to know how to best harness the ecology of Facebook, and to use the platform in a way that is true to its "spirit," however elusive that may be. The whole idea of "social marketing" has become so saturated that many people think that all you need to do is throw a "f" or a twitter-bird widget on something and move on; take an idea, take a site, pump it through the Facebook fantabulator and out will come a social page, where likes can be hoarded like so many Valentine's cards. We have a different approach.
The first thing we do is understand that Facebook is not just another site anymore - it is not just a receptacle for key art. It is an evolution in how people communicate, and with this evolution it has grown into something much greater than the sum of its parts - it has grown organically into a platform. It's important to think inside this new paradigm. I think it was Greg that, last week, was discussing how people use new technologies. People reflexively use them like the media that came before them. The first films looked like theatre. The first television shows were like radio plays. Remember what the first websites looked like? They were like pages of print, with some scrolling text for good measure. So what we always try to do is to look to the future. Where is this platform going? What is truly possible?
- Social Media