Just this past week Facebook invited me to connect with my friend Bill Clinton and Twitter thought I might enjoy a Lady Gaga Skype concert. Hmmm, what does that say about my online personality? Those two incidents gave me pause. But after some serious thinking I came to the conclusion those “targeted communications” said more about the immaturity of our social ad programs than they did about me.
While it is true I lean Democratic in my voting choices, I almost never post political commentary. I don’t belong to ANY political Facebook pages (although I have liked a couple of non-profit, non-political organizations). I have only two or three very vocal Democratic advocates in my “friends” feed. And at least as many friends who are republican advocates. Upon inspection there is NOTHING that signals I have ever met, let alone am friends with, Bill Clinton. And although I would be honored to meet him, we certainly aren’t friends.
Now, on to pop culture and Lady Gaga. I’m not a fan. Sure, my head will bop back and forth if I happen to come across one of her songs on the radio. But I don’t own anything she’s ever produced. In fact, I don’t own much music at all. I never tweet about going to concerts or my favorite radio stations. Again, there isn’t anything in my past to indicate I’m a Lady Gaga lover. Oh wait…I might have once said I liked Skype on my Twitter feed – could that be the connection?
Instead of pretending I know Bill Clinton, or pushing music that is not very compelling let’s see what brands should have been paying attention to in my online world.
Let’s look at just my Twitter profile for example. Without reading a single tweet you might surmise I’m a busy woman who needs organizational tools. That high-end kitchen gadgets might lure me into fantasy and that I’m surrounded by Legos, Nerf toys and all things “boy”. That’s a whole LOT of insight. Now, take a look at even just my last 5 days of tweets. You’ll learn that I’m addicted to a specific brand of iced tea (hello, coupons anyone?), have been giving out holiday cookies and keep candy on my desk. And lest you think ALL that’s on my mind is food, you’ll also note I care about technology buyer trends, wrote about the evolution of product management and shared some industry trends. Imagine if you looked at 30 days of tweets? Examined who I follow?
Facebook is even more personal for me. It knows I celebrate Christmas, obsessively! I have friends around the world, recently visited Las Vegas for work, my son just graduated electrician’s training and even which charities I’ve recently promoted. So stop trying to hook me up with famous people I don’t know and start giving me coupon codes to my local grocery store. Come on, I know you know where I live!
We are at the beginning of an ad revolution so I forgive the poorly planned intrusions but I believe we can do much better. These channels literally observe my every virtual thought. I for one can’t wait to see how smart brands leverage that power to be truly relevant.