helping brands make perfect sense of social media, from IAB UK’s social media council


by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing, Torchbox,

Anyone go to Glastonbury and see the Pet Shop Boys or stumble across their performance on TV ? Perfect anthemic festival theatre.

Listening to their 1984 number one smash – West End Girls – got me thinking. Could the lyrics be a vision that describe what you should consider when it comes to a social media strategy? Looking at them literally most definitely not! But with a bit of imagination they can be triggers for important things to take into account…

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what? (OK, I’ve changed this slightly!)
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?

Let’s take a closer look from a social media perspective:

‘Too many shadows, whispering voices’

Blatantly a reference to the fact that your brand is being talked about in the social media space. It’s whether you choose to listen.

‘Faces on posters, too many choices’

Faces on posters? They saw the Facebook revolution coming! Too many choices? Oh yes, there are thousands and thousands of social offerings you could choose to utilise.

‘If, when, why, what?’

Now we’re talking. Core strategy questions.

If – is social media something your organisation is ready to embrace? Can it be integrated into wider marcomms programme? Are you clear on who you are targeting?

When – do you have the resource in place? is your wider organisation ready to embrace?

Why – absolutely key. Measuarable objectives that show why you are doing it…

What – and what you want to achieve. Only then are you in a position to think about what to do to meet objectives.

‘How much have you got?’

Good question. You can’t just build it and hope people will come. Can you make funds available to amplify your offering?

‘Have you got it, do you get it?’

More people are. But many more could.

‘And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?’

The soft option is to do nothing.

And what have your customers done to deserve this?!

Rob Salmon will be presenting his Pet Shop Boys infused social theory in a strategy break out group at the IAB UK’s Social Media Forum which is taking place on Thursday 8 July between 3 & 8:30pm. To find out more and book tickets see:

Jonny Grum
July 1, 2010

I cannot wait for this one

Amy Kean
July 1, 2010

Quite simply, amazing. I also think there’s a lot we can learn about crisis management from the song ‘It’s a Sin’, but that’s for another post…

Joseph Beale
July 1, 2010

Insightful stuff there Rob. You were always on my mind so I decided to follow you on twitter.

Henry Elliss, Tamar
July 14, 2010

I think we can learn even more from the Flight of the Conchords song ‘Inner City Pressure’, which was itself a spoof of the Pet Shop Boys…

“Neon signs, hidden messages. Questions, answers, fetishes. You know you’re not in high finance, considering second hand underpants. Check your mind, how’d it get so bad? What happened to those other underpants you had? …”

Post a comment