The hierarchy of like

It’s quite easy to say you like something these days. All you need to do is press ‘like’ on facebook and everyone can see you like it. But it’s quite meaningless and hollow isn’t it?

Of course I don’t like cancer, and of course i’m against racism, but clicking ‘like’ does absolutely nothing but give the person who started the chain of public pointlessness a warm glow and a stirring in their pants at their ability to move social media mountains. It doesn’t save lives and it doesn’t raise any money for the causes we are liking.

Does it mean a little more when you retweet, or favourite some else’s tweet? Probably. But not much more. Single button support is all too simple.

Next for me on the hierarchy is a text. it’s pretty easy and painless and doesn’t commit you to anything much really. It gives you a glow and them a vague feeling you’re there for them.

But if it really mattered or you wanted them to know it was important to them, you’d ring them wouldn’t you and tell them? With a mobile in every pocket, that’s ever so easy and ever so fast. It’s over and done with in a flash.

But at the top of my new social hierarchy is a letter.

If it matters, then write. By hand. The old fashioned way. Craft it a little and show people that what you think of them and that you care enough to put pen to paper.

Go on, see what happens.

Social media is really antisocial for B2B

Edith Boundy - 95 years old on Tuesday and better at listening than 95% of all businesses that use social media as marketing tool
Edith Boundy - 95 years old on Tuesday and better at listening than 95% of all businesses that use social media as marketing tool

I’m a big fan of social media, it’s great fun and quite sociable really. But is it right for most brands or is it just a great big distraction?

Having given this lots and lots of thought, I’m becoming more convinced that a social media strategy for many B2B businesses is nothing more than a total waste of time that will ultimately serve to undermine their business.

A big statement, but lets look at the facts.

Email marketing
Sending lots of emails to your clients keeps them abreast of what you do.
If you’re doing well, as a B2B business you may have a 40% open rate. This is a 60% NOT open rate so more of your customers are choosing to not even look at the information you are sending them.

Lets say this takes 4 hours per month

I blog loads and loads that build links and web presence
But how many people read it and how is this adding to the SEO of your own company? It is far better to use all of your hard work blogging to populate your business’ site with lovely searchable words that Google can crawl all over and rank you more highly for than build an external blog presence.

You have to be incredibly committed to build an external blog with a Page Rank that will make the link back to your business site worth the effort. Realistically, one link from Linkedin to your business site will do more good.

To do this well will take 15 hours per month

I’m always Twittering
Unless you make the effort to build an engaged audience, you may as well not bother. How many people are actually listening to what you say. Most (over 80%) of twitter accounts are effectively dormant, so who cares? Are you shouting your thoughts in an empty room.

To do this well will take 6 hours per month

It’s nice to see your business down their with the kids and yes it’s a huge fast growing audience base. But for B2B. Hmm, not really.

Will you sell more widgets, buns or B2B services by having a Facebook fan page? I doubt it. At least once it’s up, maintaining it is pretty simple, so lets say we allow 2 hours per month.

For consumer brands it can be completely different, they try to build religious fervour where people seek them out and want to know more and more. Their reputation can grow like wildfire with consumers looking for information in every available channel. So yes, I can see why you just have to have it here.

But if you’re a B2B supplier, wouldn’t the TWENTY SEVEN hours every single month, you’ve just saved be better spent hanging out with your clients and giving them a really good listening too?

Blogging and brand values

There seems to be a lot of blogging going on a Purple Circle at the moment and it’s all to do with some of our own brand values – being passionate and actually daring to have an opinion.

One of our problems with research has always been that it is often used as a tool to hide behind and not as a platform to launch something bold, innovative and different – That’s why we’ll be talking about Purple Circle Brand Insight that we’ll be launching in a few weeks.

So at Purple Circle, we have always encouraged people to say what they think, because it’s the right thing to do, and not necessarily because it’s always the right thing to say. This makes some clients feel uncomfortable but makes others far more comfortable in the knowledge they are paying for (and getting) honest answers and not a bunch of flannel from yes men/women.

So Michael Slack has started his own blog at about branding and business, with his first piece being about brand layering, which you can read here.


Michael Slack's Blog at
Michael Slack's Blog at

Abi Jackson will be writing about more esoteric design stuff in her blog called Pretty Damn Fine with her first piece being about Sanderson designs, you can read that here.


Abi Jackson's Pretty Damn Fine Blog at
Abi Jackson's Pretty Damn Fine Blog at

So why all the blogging?

Well, simple really. Our clients are asking about how they can get a more clear personality online, about how they can work more cleverly within the social media environments, so what better way to advise than practice what we preach in order to understand it more fully ourselves.

Oh, and that’s not far from another of our brand values either.