It might just be me, but increasing numbers of tv adverts have a strap line that includes something along the lines of ‘let us know what you think’ or ‘join in the debate at’. But for my money, any brand going out and asking consumers is kind of missing the point of social media and user engagement.

Take the current Kingsmill bread campaign for example, it’s positively cringeworthy. Forced examples of ‘Kingsmill Confessions’ are trotted out with an invitation to send in your confessions. I think most people would agree that the confessions to date smack of marketing invention versus true customer stories. If you go and visit the website, the confessions on there are simply boring. But to be fair, making mass-produced bread a buzz product is a particularly tall order! I do however love the same print on the footer of the site:

Whilst Kingsmill welcomes all confessions we would remind confessors that Kingsmill is a family-friendly site and anything that is deemed offensive will be deleted by the moderation team.

That seems to kill off the hope that there’ll be any truly interesting confessions…

In broad terms, the best social media campaigns have had at most, a slight push from a marketing team. If a product or service needs a multi-million campaign to get people to say something about it, then surely that means it isn’t remarkable or worthy of talking about in the consumer’s mind?

Bottom line, too much marketing department generated social media stands out like a beacon to the average consumer. Go and do something genuinely exciting or innovative and you won’t have to ask, cap in hand, ‘let us know what you think’.