Shortly after transitioning from my work as a journalist to my work in social media, I was assigned to write for a well-known cereal brand, one particularly popular among stoners.
In discussions about the brand’s voice and tone, we coded our language to say we were writing for “slackers,” “college dudes” and “millennials who love irony.”
It was an incredibly easy assignment. The fervor for the brand was built-in, and all we had to do was write from the perspective of its biggest fan. Fan and follower counts skyrocketed without the slightest dip into paid promotion. Engagement rates were through the roof. Our agency was heralded, and other brands sought our secret sauce.
Well, the secret was that we were writing for a brand that was already popular among folks who regularly (and enthusiastically) used social media and were receptive to brand messaging. This was during those halcyon Edgerank days when Facebook wasn’t suppressing organic reach into nonexistence, as it is now.
We were brought crashing to Earth when we picked up our first B2B brand and learned that it’s not so easy to create a robust social media presence when you’re writing for an audience that either isn’t there or doesn’t care.