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January 13, 2010 / davebirss

It’s like social media without the social media

I’m a customer of First Direct and on the whole I like their brand (even after they buggered me about really badly last month). Last night I was on their site to empty my bank account a little more when I spotted a button for First Direct Live which apparently “Streams live what is being said about us online”.

I thought “Ooh! That’s brave for any brand to do. I’ve got to see this.”

What I encountered was an amazing stab at what I’ll refer to as ‘cloaked transparency’. It was like social media but without any content. It sounded like it was talking but was really just going “mwah mwah mwah mwah” like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

It feels to me like someone sold in a social media strategy based on transparency and then the client got the jitters at the last minute. The quotes that they’ve got up there feel like self-congratulatory corporate tosh. Shame. It was probably a better idea not to have done this at all than do something this hollow.

Do you think it’s OK to just dip your toe in the water when it comes to social media? Tell me your thoughts.

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