we need a vaccine for viral marketing
When social media first started out, it was like the clouds parted & little digital angels started singing for me. I saw all the possibilities of reaching mass amounts of people in a much more personal way. I thought we could push the boundaries of para-social relations with celebrities really becoming our friends & companies having real voices.
No doubt about it, I bought it.
We need a vaccine to protect us from viral marketing.
And I think it’s going to get a whole lot of people sick on this whole social media craze all the kids are talking about.
What do I mean?
To put it in one word: ethics.
Oh! Try this one: responsibility.
Not buzz enough for you? Okay: transparency.
More companies are engaging in much more questionable social media campaigns then ever before. Like the big Target Rounders scandal my former student Rosie Siman broke last year and this ‘BMW launch across the Atlantic‘ mock-u-mentary.
Indeed, it is the latter that got me all spun up this time. This video on CNN brings to light many issues which, quite frankly, damage the credibility of social media:
- Decreasing our ability to be media literate
- Creating an extensive ‘Blair Witch’-like backstory
- Fake Facebook pages & accepting friends (who may not realize you’re fake in the first place)
- Creating a 30-minute long fake documentary
- Waiting for several weeks (after millions of views) to reveal you’re behind the project