The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Why Smarties Social Media Strategy Isn’t So Sweet …
June 25, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

Remember ages ago I wrote about how the Smarties Australia social media approach on Facebook was basically a massive slap in the face to the brand?

Well it seems they haven’t learnt because recently I saw this …

Jesus Christ, that’s even worse than last time.

10 likes. 1 comment.

At this rate, they’ll be getting minus likes and comments in the next few months.

Why are you doing this Smarties? What benefit is this having on your business?

In fact, is it actually having an adverse effect, given kids might think Smarties are for losers?

Of course social media doesn’t have to be bad and there may be a whole host of reasons for the continued bad performance of this iconic brand … well, iconic in the kids chocolate category.

Maybe it’s because it’s badly targeted [after all, I saw it and I’m a 43 year old man. Admittedly, a sad 43 year old man, but still 43]

Maybe it’s because it’s utterly crap?

Maybe it’s because there’s no reason for doing this, other than for some social media manager to hit their KPI’s?

Whatever it is, the fact is they seem to have forgotten the fundamental rule of all messaging – especially with digital – if it’s not meaningful to your audience [based on what they want, not what you want them to want] it sure as shit won’t be social.

Not so smart are you Smarties!

Don’t worry, you’re not alone … there’s millions of other companies out there doing the same thing, in the mistaken belief it’s ‘free advertising’.

Shame they haven’t realised that just because the media’s free [which even that isn’t true in a lot of cases] that doesn’t mean it’s valuable to your business. In fact, with the cost of the people it takes to write this drivel, it could possibly be one of the most ineffective communication approaches out there.


39 Comments so far
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Why is it called social media? It’s not social, few gets passed on and the facebook stuff tries to get people to interact rather than spread which doesn’t happen either.

At least in the old days when people put a postcard in the local shop window it had stuff you checked out. What passes today as social media isn’t social media, it’s leper media. You don’t want it, you don’t want to associate it and you ignore it when you see it coming your way.

Comment by DH

I don’t know if the shop window postcard is the best example to use (maybe those fly posters that have tear off strips with contact information on them) but the point is a good one.

What is social about much of the social media campaigns? More importantly, what is the point behind much of the social media campaigns other than “free publicity” which, as Rob mentions, isn’t actually free.

Do I really want daily conversations with a chocolate brand? Even Rob, who once told me he became a member of the Ribena fan club when he was 24, doesn’t. What is this obsession with having a daily presence? I know I should be an advocate of it, but when it’s done in this visual pollution, shotgun style, I think it’s more harmful than good.

I’ve always preferred the “be meaningful, not social” mantra Rob has pronounced but time and again, brands forget it’s about being meaningful to the audience, not just the board of directors.

Comment by Pete

So you agree with me.

Comment by DH

Largely thanks to social media, customers do want an always on relationship with brands. What brandsfail to understand is that this means the customers want the brand to jump when the they say jump and stay silent the rest of the time.

Comment by John

So what you’re saying John is people want a 1950’s marriage.

Comment by DH

Sexist yet brilliant description.

Comment by Pete

I have nothing I can add to this except to say the ‘1950’s marriage’ is possibly the best summation of how society wants social media to work, I’ve ever read. And yes, I will be stealing it.

Comment by Rob

I’ll be stealing that 1950’s thing too.

Comment by Eaon Pritchard (@eaonp)

I am a social media guru.

Comment by DH

You’re a 43 year old man, targeted by a chocolate brand that’s for kids. Isn’t that how Jimmy Saville started? On the bright side, you might get offered your own show on the BBC.

Did I say bright side? Maybe for you, not for people with eyes and ears.

Comment by DH

I am consulting with my lawyers … but probably not as urgently as Smarties and the BBC are.

Comment by Rob

both posts and the strat would be amazing if only they went after the weed smoking crowd..

Comment by niko

If any kid reads this post, they’ll know smarties are for losers.

Comment by Billy Whizz

What am I saying, reading this blog would make them a loser.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Have you worked out what you did there Billy?

Comment by John

I don’t visit because I want to. I’m just here to observe everyone else. Consider it a scientific study.

Comment by DH

I’m DHs boss.

Comment by Billy Whizz

There’s always a problem when people talk about digital marketing in a way that suggests the purpose is different to marketing.

Comment by Bazza

But that’s the only way they can justify it being differently billable.

Comment by John

Remuneration models dictate effectiveness more than effectiveness.

Comment by Pete

Say what?

Comment by John

I mean media owners profit focus ends up influencing what they say is the best thing for their clients business.

Comment by Pete

No view is truly independent.

Comment by Rob

Wouldn’t your time be better spent fixing iOS7 than comment on this blog?

Comment by George

So are smarties saying that wish the World was full of obese people with bad teeth? Interesting strategy.

Comment by George

Sturgeon’s Law applies to social media, too.
But especially to social media marketing …

Comment by Ian Gee

The most insidious thing about this kind of thoughtless, pointless crap is the sheer amount of it. Brand managers check out some brands on Facebook, assume that this is how its done, then brief a compliant (PR?) agency to do more of the same. And so it goes on.

Comment by Phil Adams

Jesus, I thought you had more taste than to come on here Phil – but you’re right. This sort of rubbish shows that people still don’t understand the role – or potential – of digital and so basically as long as you’re seen doing something on it, most companies are happy.

Hasn’t anyone learnt anything from 1999?

Comment by Rob

Commenting on here is like childbirth. You forget the pain (so I’ve heard) and eventually want to do it again.

Comment by Phil Adams

That is until you realise you’ve given birth to a ginger haired satan and want to run to the hills.

Comment by Rob

Don’t talk about my son like that, that’s my job

Comment by northern

Lets hope your son never reads your comment when he’s older Northern. Especially if you ever rely on him to push you around in your wheelchair.

Comment by Rob

He headbutted me in the bollocks this morning, he got his retaliation in first

Comment by northern


Comment by Rob

What’s that they say about low-hanging fruit?

Comment by John

Oh very funny

Comment by northern

Plumbing the depths

Comment by northern

SEE: Oreo for cultural relevant social media use.

TWO Q’s: Does it makes sense in this context?

Is it relevant?

Comment by KPR

Oreo is one of the most clever social media strategy to me. Like Rob mentioned “be meaningful, not social”. Their Oreo’s daily celebration is meaningful a lot, socially interactive? Do they ask people to wish his face made by Oreo? Not much. Well the point is, their daily content is strong enough. Its relevancy applies universally, all kind of people know Oreo and those famous day or pop culture celebrations. Correct me if I’m wrong 🙂

Comment by Wafi

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