light brigade.jpg
The The Charge of the Light Brigade is in so many ways a lesson for brands that think of social media as just another channel.

As you may know my basic philosophy about brands and web 2.0 is proceed…with caution. Social media is unfamiliar territory for brands and their representatives – largely because the rules are created by the community not the communicators – and they should steer well clear unless they know exactly what they are doing.


Unfortunately unscrupulous advisers and naive brand owners rarely employ this level of discretion and like the proverbial fools that they are rush in to this hostile environment ill prepared and end up as canon fodder for an angry community.
As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote of the catastrophic charge at the Battle of Balaclava:
Half a league half a league
Half a league onward
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade
Charge for the guns’ he said
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldiers knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
I sketched out some rules for brands and social media here. But the man who really knows is of course Hugh over at Gaping Void. I rarely post abut other people’s posts but you must read his analysis of why blogging has been so successful for English Cut and his stable of microbrands.

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