Mediocrity should be a hard pill for your brand to swallow. You should not be OK with doing a job that can be considered “good enough”. This isn’t a rally-time bar hookup, and just doing a thing isn’t the same as mastering its craft. Are we all guilty of falling prey to this sort of cantankerous folly? Hells yeah. Do we know better? For sure. Does realizing either of those things make us in any way, shape or form immune? Nope. But when it comes to a well-designed, and well-executed social media strategy for your brand, simply put: mediocre won’t cut it.
You’re not the only brand out there that does what you do. You don’t have the smartest team, most clever copy, or most compelling visual material. You know why? Because you’re in the 99.9999999999% of people who are not the best. And guess what? None of this matters. The best aren’t thought of as such because of any of these things. The best are the best because of everything else they are surrounded by. If we hold them up against the ocean of mediocrity that characterizes most brands in social media, sure – they look shiny, and clever, and innovative, and fun. But if we take them for what they really are – people who see a need (or in some cases create that need), and find a way to communicate with their target consumers in a meaningful way – then we have unlocked the secret to excellence: good, old fashioned, critical thinking.
Social media has, among other things, made it possible for small players to compete with the Coca-Colas of the world in a tangible way. If social media were running for office this November, it would do well to talk about how it’s empowered Main Street, and made it possible for Mom & Pop to take on The Good Old Boys – and kick their collective asses. But it only works when brands realize that it’s people – not promotions, programs, ad buys, commercials, radio spots, and blah blah blah ad nauseam – that connect today’s consumers. It’s people that spread your message; it isn’t you, as a brand. If you don’t have strong critical thought at the core of your social media strategy, you are all but doomed to absolute, colossal, and tumultuous failure. You will have your mediocrity revealed in a way that – back in the days when printed ads were king – wasn’t going to cause much of a stir. You will only make the people that are better thinkers than you, look better. As for them – the more thoughtful of your comrades – their consumers will never know what hit them. All those consumers will experience is a message – be it visual, auditory, or in spectacular smell-o-rama – that contains exactly what’s relevant to them. Social media is a marvelous tool for the brands that understand these things. As for the rest of you – thanks are in order:
Thanks for syncing your Twitter feed to Facebook.
Thanks for forgetting that when people check-in on Foursquare, they are already at the place they’re checking into.
Thanks for posting 3 paragraph-long status updates to Facebook with no photo.
Thanks for thinking that Google+ is “the next big thing”.
Thanks for forgetting to optimize content for the feed.
Thanks for your rabid, and incoherent adoption of Pinterest.
But most of all, thanks for making it so easy for us to show our clients who gets it, and who’s going to help us make them look really, really good.

Mediocrity should be a hard pill for your brand to swallow. You should not be OK with doing a job that can be considered “good enough”. This isn’t a rally-time bar hookup, and just doing a thing isn’t the same as mastering its craft. Are we all guilty of falling prey to this sort of cantankerous folly? Hells yeah. Do we know better? For sure. Does realizing either of those things make us in any way, shape or form immune? Nope. But when it comes to a well-designed, and well-executed social media strategy for your brand, simply put: mediocre won’t cut it.

You’re not the only brand out there that does what you do. You don’t have the smartest team, most clever copy, or most compelling visual material. You know why? Because you’re in the 99.9999999999% of people who are not the best. And guess what? None of this matters. The best aren’t thought of as such because of any of these things. The best are the best because of everything else they are surrounded by. If we hold them up against the ocean of mediocrity that symbolizes most brands in social media, sure – they look shiny, and clever, and innovative, and fun. But if we take them for what they really are – people who see a need (or in some cases create that need), and find a way to communicate with their target consumers in a meaningful way – then we have unlocked the secret to excellence: good, old fashioned, critical thinking.

Social media has, among other things, made it possible for small players to compete with the Coca-Colas of the world in a tangible way. If social media were running for office this November, it would do well to talk about how it’s empowered Main Street, and made it possible for Mom & Pop to take on The Good Old Boys – and kick their collective asses. But it only works when brands realize that it’s people – not promotions, programs, ad buys, commercials, radio spots, and blah blah blah ad nauseam – that connect today’s consumers. It’s people that spread your message; it isn’t you, as a brand. If you don’t have strong critical thought at the core of your social media strategy, you are all but doomed to absolute, colossal, and tumultuous failure. You will have your mediocrity revealed in a way that – back in the days when printed ads were king – wasn’t going to cause much of a stir. You will only make the people that are better thinkers than you, look better. As for them – the more thoughtful of your comrades – their consumers will never know what hit them. All those consumers will experience is a message – be it visual, auditory, or in spectacular Smell-O-Vision – that contains exactly what’s relevant to them. Social media is a marvelous tool for the brands that understand these things. As for the rest of you – thanks are in order:

  • Thanks for syncing your Twitter feed to Facebook.
  • Thanks for forgetting that when people check-in on Foursquare, they are already at the place they’re checking into.
  • Thanks for posting 3 paragraph-long status updates to Facebook with no photo.
  • Thanks for thinking that Google+ is “the next big thing”.
  • Thanks for forgetting to optimize content for the feed.
  • Thanks for being so enamored with Timeline, that you’ve forgotten the fact that no-one visits your Facebook Page.
  • Thanks for your rabid, and incoherent adoption of Pinterest.

But most of all, thanks for making it so easy for us to show our clients who gets it, and who’s going to help us make them look really, really good.

Written by Ed Gazarian
Ed is the Managing Partner of Pandemic Labs, where he occasionally does some work in-between deep discussions of both Shakespeare and Star Wars.