A bit of variety in this week’s Social Media Top 5, starting with the Burger Wars, even if it’s not strictly a social media story:
McDonald’s to Burger King: Eat Whopper and Die!
This past week, Burger King, in a bid for attention, offered a truce to McDonald’s; for Peace Day, they said, why not do a joint burger and donate proceeds to charity? McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook didn’t take the bait, and replied in rather withering fashion, declining the offer.
The reaction? Some people seemed to thing McDonald’s blew it, or at least missed an opportunity. My reaction? McDonald’s is #1, and they have no obligation to participate in #2 Burger King’s cry for attention, however cynically wrapped in a good cause. Perhaps Easterbrook’s reply was a bit rude in tone, but on the other hand “Eat Whopper* and Die” (my words but he is welcome to them) is not an out-of-bounds response. Go give Wendy’s a shot, Burger King. No? I thought so.
I present Tom Brady doing his Burger King impression:
*I actually like Whoppers, not that it matters.
Social Media is DEAD!!!!!
OK, not really (and I hate the “X is dead” tropes), but I read with interest Josh Bernoff’s reaction to Augie Ray’s post on social media’s house being on fire and it needs to be rebuilt, or something. My first impression is that Bernoff is saying “Burn, baby burn,” while Ray sees some new unicorn farm springing up in its place (or something). What I do take away from this, on Bernoff’s side, are two things:
- That most brands are not worth talking about and should not use social media for that purpose (not a new notion but worth repeating) – by the way, I’m not so sure that Apple is still one of those companies that meets that criterion; and
- Compelling content is another good use of social media. Based on my work with Stone Temple Consulting, I wouldn’t limit that notion to social media, though I would love to see social have more of an impact on search results.
Social media dead? Should it be taken out of marketers’ hands? We know that most marketers are far too lazy to kill a vampire properly, with all that garlic and wooden stakes and probably some sort of prayer mumbo-jumbo. That’s a lot of work- so we’re stuck with vam- er, social media and the marketers who work in it. That’s not as bad a thing as the “dead” crowd would like to believe.
If anything, this content is fun for tech PR people who get to watch ex-Forrester analysts do battle with each other via blog. Keep it coming.
Instagram lets you post not-square images. Hurrah?
I have always considered Instagram to be the Internet’s answer to crappy photography – hence the neo-Polaroid trappings, the unnecessary-yet-necessary filters, and the emphasis on mobile over desktop ease-of-use. So, is Instagram’s recent announcement that it will tolerate non-square image formats a love note to photographers? Nah, it’s more likely a sop to movie studios and other commercial entities whose content is more Panavision than Ektachrome.
Not that that’s a bad thing…
Rules are Terrible Unless They’re Not
Speaking of Instagram: Hayley Bloomingdale has decided that she is the arbiter of what is right in Instagram etiquette. I don’t much care for people setting rules that others must live by in social media- we all can do what we want. Besides, nobody can replace Kim Kardashian as my queen of vacuous debutantes who actually give decent social media advice.
That said, most of Bloomingdale’s rules are not bad ones, but the last one- no cats? I don’t think so.
#5: One Last Thought
Whether you do PR, marketing or some other form of communications, measurement is key. If some “measurement guru” shoves advice in your face (or your browser), ask yourself one question: is this a bunch of basic math, or are there some practical takeaways I can use to improve my programs? The answer makes the difference between snake oil and delivering results. That is all.