Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, PR 20, Social Media Marketing

Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success

Sometimes being wrong feels so right.

Truth and candor are in short supply these days. Perhaps it’s always been this way, but it sure seems like there’s an awful lot of politicians, celebrities, and athletes that have been unmasked as liars and losers.

Soon we’ll have someone taking steroids while cavorting with hookers and debating health care legislation.

But amidst this icky zeitgeist another trend has emerged: Humble Companies.

Not long ago, it would have been nearly unthinkable for a major American corporation to proactively admit it was less that perfect, that its products were anything short of myrrh, or that any of its employees were other than a straight-toothed, sympathetic Adonis.

But now, the admission of suckiness is brand currency.

social media lies 213x300 Social Media Plus Sucking Equals SuccessDomino’s is being lauded for a multi-million dollar campaign that very specifically claims its former pizza recipe was terrible.

Zappos, BestBuy, Comcast and dozens of other companies purposefully provide customer service via Twitter and other social outposts, allowing anyone with an Internet connection the option of tuning in to their shortcomings.

And snack and beverage companies are in danger of pulling a hamstring in their rush to admit their customers are better marketers, as Vitamin Water, Mountain Dew, and Doritos have all fully crowd sourced components of advertising or product development.

Ford decided to forego the test track and let YouTube celebrities tell us what they really think about the new Fiesta in an uncensored, engaging format that makes market research into Web-based reality TV.

What the hell?

I never thought I’d see a day when corporations were the most trustworthy and forthright among us, but it draws nigh.

Maybe admitting you don’t have all the answers is all the social media and marketing strategy you need?

(Happy Bunny is a creation of Jim Benton)

Related
  • http://www.scotjhale.com/ Scott Hale

    Messing up is all part of being human – Consumers decided that messages from advertisers were weighted down with marketing spin and they determined that corporations all must be hiding something. The current shift toward humanization is to thank for this onslaught of admittance to failure.

    No single human has all of the answers and consumers view a brand as a single entity. So how could it have all of the answers? Welcome to Human Branding…of brands.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Exactly! Humanization of brands is the name of the game. Companies are made up of people. Social media lets you prove it. Thanks for the comment Scott.

  • http://www.scotjhale.com Scott Hale

    Messing up is all part of being human – Consumers decided that messages from advertisers were weighted down with marketing spin and they determined that corporations all must be hiding something. The current shift toward humanization is to thank for this onslaught of admittance to failure.

    No single human has all of the answers and consumers view a brand as a single entity. So how could it have all of the answers? Welcome to Human Branding…of brands.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Exactly! Humanization of brands is the name of the game. Companies are made up of people. Social media lets you prove it. Thanks for the comment Scott.

  • http://www.grtaylor2.com/ Greg Taylor

    Corporate transparency lends to their credibility. More companies are getting in front of issues (product or service) earlier in the cycle to lessen potential damage.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      I think that’s a factor of the social media telephone. One video and a few hours can seriously mess with brand reputation. Domino’s, Motrin, United. Speed gives and it takes away.

  • http://www.grtaylor2.com Greg Taylor

    Corporate transparency lends to their credibility. More companies are getting in front of issues (product or service) earlier in the cycle to lessen potential damage.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      I think that’s a factor of the social media telephone. One video and a few hours can seriously mess with brand reputation. Domino’s, Motrin, United. Speed gives and it takes away.

  • http://twitter.com/barry_brown/statuses/7714432965 barry_brown (barry brown)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success [link to post] post by @jaybaer – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/barry_brown/statuses/7714432965 barry_brown (barry brown)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success [link to post] post by @jaybaer

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/StephanieSAM/statuses/7715086702 StephanieSAM (Stephanie Miller

    Twitter Comment


    Honesty to the point of admitting you suck. Interesting idea from @JayBaer – but I don’t rec’d it for most brands! [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/StephanieSAM/statuses/7715086702 StephanieSAM (Stephanie Miller)

    Twitter Comment


    Honesty to the point of admitting you suck. Interesting idea from @JayBaer – but I don’t rec’d it for most brands! [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Reminds me of that Dudley Moore movie, Crazy People, with all the truthiness in advertising shocking customers into positive responses. Scott’s right, we’ve become jaded and don’t believe the hype and spin. So maybe the truth will set you free.

    Via SM we’ve done what we always have: asked people we trust for their recommendations. Our friends and neighbors are now only limited to anyone online with a transparent voice to suggest driving this car or seeing this movie or staying in that hotel. FWIW.
    .-= Davina K. Brewer´s last blog ..Personal Service: The Secret Weapon =-.

    • http://ariwriter.com/ Ari Herzog

      Hehe, that’s one of my favorite movies! Do you remember the character, who, throughout the entire film, only says the word, “Hello,” until the last scene?

      There’s a reason why he started saying other words beyond “Hello” like these Blue Chip firms recognizing there is a world beyond their boardrooms.
      .-= Ari Herzog´s last blog ..Reflecting on My Twitter Sabbatical, 1 Week In =-.

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

        I think companies have always realized there was a world out there. The difference is that consumers now have the power to force companies to pay attention.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Thanks so much for that. The first Dudley Moore reference in the history of Convince & Convert. Yea!

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Reminds me of that Dudley Moore movie, Crazy People, with all the truthiness in advertising shocking customers into positive responses. Scott’s right, we’ve become jaded and don’t believe the hype and spin. So maybe the truth will set you free.

    Via SM we’ve done what we always have: asked people we trust for their recommendations. Our friends and neighbors are now only limited to anyone online with a transparent voice to suggest driving this car or seeing this movie or staying in that hotel. FWIW.
    .-= Davina K. Brewer´s last blog ..Personal Service: The Secret Weapon =-.

    • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

      Hehe, that’s one of my favorite movies! Do you remember the character, who, throughout the entire film, only says the word, “Hello,” until the last scene?

      There’s a reason why he started saying other words beyond “Hello” like these Blue Chip firms recognizing there is a world beyond their boardrooms.
      .-= Ari Herzog´s last blog ..Reflecting on My Twitter Sabbatical, 1 Week In =-.

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

        I think companies have always realized there was a world out there. The difference is that consumers now have the power to force companies to pay attention.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Thanks so much for that. The first Dudley Moore reference in the history of Convince & Convert. Yea!

  • http://www.massoutsource.com/ Tyrone

    Sometimes being a bit silly is part of the game to enhance attention to target audience because playing it just natural can also let people feel that you’re real – nobody can be perfect enough but businesses do all their best to be that perfect one to let the audience enjoy convenience of good information and interesting topics underneath them.

  • http://www.massoutsource.com Tyrone

    Sometimes being a bit silly is part of the game to enhance attention to target audience because playing it just natural can also let people feel that you’re real – nobody can be perfect enough but businesses do all their best to be that perfect one to let the audience enjoy convenience of good information and interesting topics underneath them.

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Could this have happened by default due to all the infidelity, riods and an insecure nation on the economy? In times of economic downfall we have to look to something to trust and believe in as so many are not sure if they will have a job in a month or will be able to get one any time soon.

    I think that brand transparency has evolved from the interaction, level of customer service provided and accessibility that consumers have with brands. I see these as escalating the trust in companies as consumers the consumer is able to see in almost real time results. That increases trust and a sense that they are putting forth an effort to be attentive to consumers in their space.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Absolutely. I wonder if we could have called a number and listened in quietly to companies’ customer service phone calls if we would have trusted them more long ago? Seems like customer service and product development in public is the big trend here?

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Could this have happened by default due to all the infidelity, riods and an insecure nation on the economy? In times of economic downfall we have to look to something to trust and believe in as so many are not sure if they will have a job in a month or will be able to get one any time soon.

    I think that brand transparency has evolved from the interaction, level of customer service provided and accessibility that consumers have with brands. I see these as escalating the trust in companies as consumers the consumer is able to see in almost real time results. That increases trust and a sense that they are putting forth an effort to be attentive to consumers in their space.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Absolutely. I wonder if we could have called a number and listened in quietly to companies’ customer service phone calls if we would have trusted them more long ago? Seems like customer service and product development in public is the big trend here?

  • http://twitter.com/SweetTeaComm/statuses/7736455350 SweetTeaComm (Mistie Thompson)

    Twitter Comment


    I love Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert blog, but this is my new all-time favorite: “Social Media+Sucking=Success” [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/SweetTeaComm/statuses/7736455350 SweetTeaComm (Mistie Thompson)

    Twitter Comment


    I love Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert blog, but this is my new all-time favorite: “Social Media+Sucking=Success” [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://www.stevewoodruff.com/ Steve Woodruff

    I think every company should forthrightly admit the need for improvement, and openly own and apologize for mistakes. But I can’t imagine why anyone would want to state or imply that they actually sucked beforehand. That, to me, is the opposite of gaining credibility…it’s calling current/past customers suckers!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      It’s a bold, counterintuitive decision, that’s for sure. Can I have a refund on all that crappy pizza I bought over the years?

  • http://www.stevewoodruff.com Steve Woodruff

    I think every company should forthrightly admit the need for improvement, and openly own and apologize for mistakes. But I can’t imagine why anyone would want to state or imply that they actually sucked beforehand. That, to me, is the opposite of gaining credibility…it’s calling current/past customers suckers!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      It’s a bold, counterintuitive decision, that’s for sure. Can I have a refund on all that crappy pizza I bought over the years?

  • http://joecascio.net/ Joe Cascio

    This is a very encouraging sign, because it means companies may be making the fundamental changes in attitude toward customers that really make the difference, not just throwing a couple of interns on Twitter and considering the job done.

    It’s going to be really interesting to watch the evolution of this new attitude going forward. But for the moment, at least, things seem to be heading in the right direction. Let’s make sure it isn’t everyone just piling on the “mea culpa” bandwagon, though. Admitting you had problems is part 1. Then you have to actually rectify the problem. Good start, though!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Yeah, it’s like a 12-step program for marketing and product development. Admit that you are powerless! Thanks for the great comment.

  • http://joecascio.net Joe Cascio

    This is a very encouraging sign, because it means companies may be making the fundamental changes in attitude toward customers that really make the difference, not just throwing a couple of interns on Twitter and considering the job done.

    It’s going to be really interesting to watch the evolution of this new attitude going forward. But for the moment, at least, things seem to be heading in the right direction. Let’s make sure it isn’t everyone just piling on the “mea culpa” bandwagon, though. Admitting you had problems is part 1. Then you have to actually rectify the problem. Good start, though!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Yeah, it’s like a 12-step program for marketing and product development. Admit that you are powerless! Thanks for the great comment.

  • http://www.opinionatlarge.com/ Eric

    Humans inherently distrust that which we don’t know. We don’t know perfection, so we are much more inclined to trust companies that admit some kind of imperfection.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Maximizing your creative productivity =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Very nicely summarized, despite your entirely freaky avatar.

  • http://www.opinionatlarge.com Eric

    Humans inherently distrust that which we don’t know. We don’t know perfection, so we are much more inclined to trust companies that admit some kind of imperfection.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Maximizing your creative productivity =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Very nicely summarized, despite your entirely freaky avatar.

  • Glenn Vogelsang

    Companies getting honest about sucking? Another great post from Jay Baer. RT @tweetmeme http://bit.ly/8DLm80

  • http://www.mediabadger.com/ Giles (Webconomist)

    So finally; truth in advertising? Humility as the new marketing approach? Do we want the “spell” and “fantasy” of advertising anymore? Will the light of day end up being too much?

    Great post; thanks!
    .-= Giles (Webconomist)´s last blog ..Youth Like Video, Adults Like Photo’s; Social Media Age Differences =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      I think that’s a great question. Very interested to see if the glitz is toned way down on Super bowl commercials this year.

  • http://www.mediabadger.com Giles (Webconomist)

    So finally; truth in advertising? Humility as the new marketing approach? Do we want the “spell” and “fantasy” of advertising anymore? Will the light of day end up being too much?

    Great post; thanks!
    .-= Giles (Webconomist)´s last blog ..Youth Like Video, Adults Like Photo’s; Social Media Age Differences =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      I think that’s a great question. Very interested to see if the glitz is toned way down on Super bowl commercials this year.

  • http://www.jacoutofthebox.ca/ Jackie Ng

    Err is human. And brands are humans even if they don’t want to admit it… :)

    That said, there may be a trend towards asking for forgiveness rather than permission. It pays more in many ways.

  • http://www.jacoutofthebox.ca Jackie Ng

    Err is human. And brands are humans even if they don’t want to admit it… :)

    That said, there may be a trend towards asking for forgiveness rather than permission. It pays more in many ways.

  • http://twitter.com/Riverbyte/statuses/7800234822 Riverbyte (Tanya Hilleary)

    Twitter Comment


    LOVE this: Social Media + Sucking = Success [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/Riverbyte/statuses/7800234822 Riverbyte (Tanya Hilleary)

    Twitter Comment


    LOVE this: Social Media + Sucking = Success [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/leftbrainster/statuses/7800330789 leftbrainster (Left Brain)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | [link to post] (via @Steveology) – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/leftbrainster/statuses/7800330789 leftbrainster (Left Brain)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | [link to post] (via @Steveology)

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/steveology/statuses/7795735304 steveology (Steve Farnsworth)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/steveology/statuses/7795735304 steveology (Steve Farnsworth)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/VelChain/statuses/7797569470 VelChain (Dave Lutz)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @Steveology Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | [link to post] Humility helps U win – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/VelChain/statuses/7797569470 VelChain (Dave Lutz)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @Steveology Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | [link to post] Humility helps U win

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/spiral16/statuses/7710571167 spiral16 (spiral16)

    Twitter Comment


    “Humble” corporations letting customers decide company direction? Only in social media: [link to post] (from @jaybaer) – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/spiral16/statuses/7710571167 spiral16 (spiral16)

    Twitter Comment


    “Humble” corporations letting customers decide company direction? Only in social media: [link to post] (from @jaybaer)

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/randylewiskemp/statuses/7713291273 randylewiskemp (Randy Kemp)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/randylewiskemp/statuses/7713291273 randylewiskemp (Randy Kemp)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://www.directmarketingrx.com/ Elizabeth

    Its refreshing to see that companies listen to their customers and are willing to make positive changes. I like the new Dominos ad. Admitting your mistakes makes you likeable because it shows you have a little humility and self awareness. People like doing business with someone they feel they can trust and admitting mistakes shows potential of being trustworthy.

    P.S. I love the Happy Bunny image. Big fan of Happy Bunny! :-)

  • http://www.directmarketingrx.com Elizabeth

    Its refreshing to see that companies listen to their customers and are willing to make positive changes. I like the new Dominos ad. Admitting your mistakes makes you likeable because it shows you have a little humility and self awareness. People like doing business with someone they feel they can trust and admitting mistakes shows potential of being trustworthy.

    P.S. I love the Happy Bunny image. Big fan of Happy Bunny! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/markwschaefer/statuses/7831031357 markwschaefer (Mark Schaefer)

    Twitter Comment


    Social media sucking = success. Love this post from @jaybaer [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/markwschaefer/statuses/7831031357 markwschaefer (Mark Schaefer)

    Twitter Comment


    Social media sucking = success. Love this post from @jaybaer [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/niftyjames/statuses/7831255372 niftyjames (james newport)

    Twitter Comment


    the truth will set your fees. RT @markwschaefer: Social media sucking = success. Love this post from @jaybaer [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/niftyjames/statuses/7831255372 niftyjames (james newport)

    Twitter Comment


    the truth will set your fees. RT @markwschaefer: Social media sucking = success. Love this post from @jaybaer [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/PresentAdvisors/statuses/7735467536 PresentAdvisors (Jon Thomas)

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    RT @jaybaer Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success – [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/PresentAdvisors/statuses/7735467536 PresentAdvisors (Jon Thomas)

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    RT @jaybaer Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success – [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/nanceru/statuses/7831440690 nanceru (Nancy C. Ruspil)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media + Sucking = Success RT @jaybaer [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/nanceru/statuses/7831440690 nanceru (Nancy C. Ruspil)

    Twitter Comment


    Social Media + Sucking = Success RT @jaybaer [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/niftyjames/status/7831255372 james newport

    the truth will set your fees. RT @markwschaefer: Social media sucking = success. Love this post from @jaybaer http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://twitter.com/nanceru/status/7831440690 Nancy C. Ruspil

    Social Media + Sucking = Success RT @jaybaer http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://twitter.com/jdebberly/status/7854484982 J D Ebberly

    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success, by @JayBaer – http://bit.ly/8PTh1q

  • http://twitter.com/artlittle/status/7883936410 Andrea Little

    RT @jaybaer "Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success" http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://twitter.com/schalkwjvisser/status/7892355938 Schalk

    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success | | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert: http://bit.ly/8tfDwb via @addthis

  • http://twitter.com/leejohnsonseo/status/7894188688 Lee Johnson 【ツ】

    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success – http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ConvinceandConvert/~3/yXMWK61G3Qo/

  • http://twitter.com/ireckon/statuses/7918912896 ireckon (Darryl King)

    Twitter Comment


    Maybe admitting you don’t have all the answers is all the social media and marketing strategy you need? [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/ireckon/statuses/7918912896 ireckon (Darryl King)

    Twitter Comment


    Maybe admitting you don’t have all the answers is all the social media and marketing strategy you need? [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/emailinstitute/status/7908294369 Email Institute

    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://twitter.com/ireckon/status/7918912896 Darryl King

    Maybe admitting you don’t have all the answers is all the social media and marketing strategy you need? http://bit.ly/7urw8U

  • http://twitter.com/henryalzamora/status/8145763349 Henry Alzamora

    Social Media Plus Sucking Equals Success http://bit.ly/5lyjcf

  • http://twitter.com/pinkflamingo555/status/8866097577 Jennifer Lorentz

    "Now, the admission of suckiness is brand currency." http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://twitter.com/pinkflamingo555/status/8866097577 Jennifer Lorentz

    "Now, the admission of suckiness is brand currency." http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://twitter.com/pinkflamingo555/status/8866097577 Jennifer Lorentz

    "Now, the admission of suckiness is brand currency." http://bit.ly/6UAY1k

  • http://massoutsourcer.com Massy

    I think it's great to see companies engage their customers in this way…maybe a new age in advertising?

  • http://twitter.com/robarock Robert Rock

    I’d love to see more companies start to be open. Lots of examples of when companies are secretive and try to avoid problems, so it’s refreshing when a company stands up and owns an issue.

  • funnybunnymedia

    Social media is just expanding. It does make business more honest and ethical. Social media is a very fun way to interact and share knowledge and products. http://funnybunnymedia.com

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