Wednesday, 24 October 2012

What's Your Favourite Colour?

Color your World
Color your World (Photo credit: Michelle Brea)
For some time, The Niece From Hell was in the endearing habit of filling any untoward social silences by incessantly asking 'What's your favourite colour?' until you either answered her or bludgeoned her into stillness with a spade.

While she has now thankfully outgrown the habit, I am frequently reminded of it when I see brands 'seeking engagement' online. The prevailing wisdom from many 'experts' is that you should ask questions to obtain 'engagement'.

The trouble is, true engagement comes from asking questions that matter, that are genuinely seeking answers. Blindly ending every post with 'What do you think, what's your favourite chocolate moment?' is at the least insincere. It can also lead to some hilarious moments, as the Lebanese mobile company asking just such a question got caught out by a rather large bomb last week. One delightful response to the question (which was something like 'We love furry animals, what's your favourite furry animal?') was 'Why don't you stop screwing around on Facebook and go fix the mobile signal that's down so we can contact our family and friends?'

A meaningless question topping off every communication also quickly just blends into chatter. It's such a shame - the chance to recruit consumers and use their feedback to genuinely hone a product, its distribution and its marketing is being wasted by brands hiring agencies to make social media go away - the online version of that wholly disempowering entity, the call centre.

What do you think? What's your favourite question?
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2 comments:

Duffy said...

Two favorite questions:

What do you think?

Tell me something I don't know. Not really a question, more of a request. Usually people have very surprising things to say and you can learn quite a lot that way.

Muscato said...

"Isn't it about time for a cocktail?"

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