What Is It About Public Holidays That Sends Brands a Little Crazy?

Today is the Queen’s Birthday public holiday in Australia and as I was re-reading Eli Fennell’s article “Don’t Kill Your Brand for Social Media” I thought I’d check out how Australian brands were noting the occasion on Google+.

Spoiler alert – not very well.

This picture in particular amused me, but probably not the way the brand’s social media team wanted.

Australian brand killing it the wrong way on Google+

Without the logo do you have any idea what the company sells or even what their name might be?

I’ll give you a hint, they’re not a talent agency representing “Queen” impersonators.* (Though they could do with a good copyeditor – their grammar is appalling).

There were others but this was probably the worst offender that I saw. And this was just on Google+ – imagine how much worse it must have been over on Facebook where brands have actually been taught by so-called experts to do this ‘for the engagement’.

But Priya, social media isn’t like traditional marketing. You’re supposed to let your hair down a little.

True, but that hair you’re letting down has to be attached somehow, not just a wig stuck on a donkey. Ok, that might be stretching the analogy a little bit too much.

From Eli’s post:

“After all, social media marketing isn’t like other forms of marketing, you’re trying to reach an audience in places online which they frequent for reasons having nothing to do with buying stuff. … Social networks attract an audience looking to be social, whether with friends and family, colleagues, influencers, communities based around common interests and passions, etc. … Things that amuse, intrigue, or otherwise grab the attention of the audience in that context therefore makes a lot of sense.

… There is nothing wrong with sharing content that doesn’t even try to lead to a sale for your business, which just entertains, but it still needs to make some sense in relation to what you want your brand to be known for. If you’re a dentist, then even your funny memes should have some clear relationship to dentistry. Like it or not, your part of the conversation is to discuss matters related to your brand identity, and nothing else!”

What if my brand is me? You know, a personal business?

That’s a whole different kettle of fish. If you’re using the same Google+ profile as one holistic person / business (like many solopreneurs do) then you’re already showing both your personal and professional sides.

There’s more leeway for you to put up a meme that has nothing to do with your business – but remember, what ever you put up will reflect back on your professional reputation.

Doing it right

In the interest of fair play I decided to see if I could find a brand doing it ‘right’ on Google+. I actually managed to find two. They’re not as ‘fun’ as the image above, but their message is tied in with both the reason behind the public holiday and their businesses:

Landscaping company doing social media right on Queen's Birthday long weekend

Interior decorating company doing social media right on Queen's Birthday long weekend

Happy Queen’s Birthday!

*They’re actually one of Australia’s largest telecommunication companies. Obviously.

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