I’ve been thinking. Which, for a start, is never a good thing. What if Father Christmas worked in digital media? What if, across from me in BOTTLE PR Towers, sat an ageing dude with a fluffy white beard in a red suit who spent all day ho-ho-ho-ing at the latest cat viral on YouTube? I’m sure the office would be an even more jolly place to work, and the endless supply of mulled wine and mince pies would undoubtedly be a welcome distraction in more stressful moments.
But I reckon Saint Nick would be a rubbish employee. And then I’d end up having to fire him, for which the press would undoubtedly give me a hard time, my wife would end up leaving me out of shame, I’d never see my daughter again, I’d turn to drink and drugs and I’d end up homeless on the streets. You can see my point, can’t you – he’s not really worth the trouble, as big a coup as it would be to have Kris Kringle working for me as a social media consultant.
So why would Santa Claus ruin my life if I hired him? Here’s why…
1.Santa comes but once per year.
Leaving aside the obvious issues over working hours and redemption, social media is a 24/7 discipline. Santa’s rather slack attitude is not going to work when the web waits for no man, no matter how likeable and popular that man is. Social media necessitates building relationships over days, weeks and months, not barging in every so often and expecting to have an impact. Santa, sort it out or get out.
2. Santa puts in too much effort with no reward
Three words, Mr Claus: Return On Investment. As much as I admire the selfish nature of the ‘to give is better than to receive’ ethos, and as much as I agree that, in social media, this goes a long, long way, I have to question what Santa actually gets out of things. All the giving and all the effort in the world means nothing unless it impacts the bottom line. Santa, you need to learn to balance effort with reward.
3. Santa isn’t inherently social
What do you know about Santa Claus? I mean, really. You know what he does for a living, but how many times have you heard of anyone just shooting the breeze with the big guy? Social media is about ‘being social’, opening up, laying yourself a little bare. People want to know things about you, not just what you’re selling. With Santa it’s all about Christmas, isn’t it? Work, work, work. Well sorry, Santa, not on the social web.
4. Santa lacks focus
Sure, you can argue that the entire planet in one night is pretty darned focused! But talk about spreading yourself thin. How on earth is Santa going to create and maintain relationships with key influencers on the social web if he’s trying to be the friend of everyone? You can’t cover off the entire social web, you simply can’t. You need to pick your channels, find your influencers and concentrate on them. Focus Santa, focus!
5. Santa isn’t transparent
In social media you must be real. No hiding behind false profiles, no putting on a front. Just be yourself. But when it comes to Santa Claus, well there are so many different stories around of who he is and where he comes from that transparency is impossible. He’s got about half a dozen different names, for heaven’s sake! I’m sorry but he’d be a liability, you just wouldn’t trust the dude. Come clean or don’t come at all, Mr Claus.
In the words of Sir Alan Sugar: “Santa Claus, you’re fired!”
And on that bombshell, Merry Christmas to every single person who has read this blog, commented or shared a post with their networks over the last 12 months. Have a wonderful holiday with your family, and eat, drink and be merry. Sending the best of season’s greetings to you and yours, from me and mine.
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