The New York Times recently ran an article by Randall Stross about Procter & Gamble‘s attempt at marketing on Facebook. While I will give Procter & Gamble credit for at least trying to engage social media, it’s pretty obvious that they are drastically failing.
Stross points out several examples of Procter & Gamble’s botched attempts such as the “Crest Whitestrips” fan page. In this example Procter & Gamble successfully lures around 14,000 Facebook members to become “fans”. However, under closer inspection it appears that the lure was in the way of free movie tickets and Def Jam concerts! They could have easily gotten just as many fans for any of their brands with a promotion like that.
Another example of their failed attempts is a page for laundry detergent “2X Ultra Tide”. On this page Tide ask visitors to contribute photos of their “favorite places to enjoy stain-making moments!” no, I am not kidding. This ridiculous 11-month campaign titled “America’s Favorite Stains” brought in a whopping 18 photos, two of which were from Procter & Gamble themselves and two more from the fine folks at The Onion.
So why is Procter & Gamble failing in the world of social media? Maybe, because they aren’t being social! Brands need to engage with real conversations, using real spokes people that are able to make personable connections with their target audience.
Even, Stross, misses the point completely when he finishes up his article with,
Brand advertisers on Facebook can try one of two new approaches. They can be more intrusive, but the outcome will not be positive. Or they can create genuinely entertaining commercials, but spend ungodly sums to do so.
When Facebook convinces advertisers to stage Super Bowl-sized entertainment every day, its future will be assured.
TVs are meant to be watched, magazines and newspapers are meant to be read, and social media is meant to be social. You can not rely on out-of-date advertising strategies in social media. And Super Bowl-sized ads will be nothing more than ads, and will be ignored like all the others.
If anyone from Procter & Gamble is reading this, then take my advice and start getting social in social media. If you need any ideas on how that works, give me a call, I have a few ideas that I can share!