If You Want Beads, Show Us Your Tweets

I recently experienced Mardi Gras in New Orleans for the first time. Shortly after returning home, I came across an interesting article focused on social media by Forbes contributor George Bradt. The two might not seem to have much in common but hang with me here.

In the article, Bradt provides several worthwhile social media bits of wisdom. For example, he shares an interesting metaphor to help companies understand the importance of having an upfront social vision and clear ROI goals. Like social media, parties are communal in nature and can vary greatly in context and feel. Companies should think about the kind of party they want their social media presence to resemble. I like Mr. Bradt’s style.

Mardi Gras. The Mount Kilimanjaro of social gatherings. Let’s not get side tracked by the absurd shenanigans and alcohol overindulgence. I’m talking about the excited interaction, unbridled engagement and proud advocacy most visitors share. Conversations (and beads) are flying back and forth, positive and negative feedback are freely exchanged and lots of monetary transactions are facilitated (according to this article, Mardi Gras’ total estimated economic impact is $42.3 million). If you’re looking for a winning social media presence, aim to be the Mardi Gras of the digital world!

Crowds flood Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans

Triangle (Engineering) Frat Party. You walk in and immediately notice that a smoke machine and black light are part of the entertainment package. Seems a little hokey, but whatever. People are also drinking glow-in-the-dark beverages and talking about things you don’t fully understand (not that you’d ever admit it). There’s a lot going on here, and in some ways it resembles the party you anticipated. Unfortunately, it feels like a blatant pitch to gain new pledges. You leave quickly looking for a place without the jargon and sales pitch. Here’s how you can avoid jargon in your blogs if you missed it earlier this week.

College House Party. Ah, the classic house party. There are equal parts familiar faces and new neighborhood crashers. This is just fine since the goal is making each event a little bigger and louder than the last, right? It’s also the perfect opportunity for the hosts to sharpen their damage control skills when a few unhappy neighbors inevitably complain and the cops show up. Does your social media presence sound like a house party? Here’s an interesting read about the tendency for companies to overlook customer service as part of their social media strategy.

house party

Club Party. You paid a hefty cover charge and had to buy bottle service to get a seat. That’s because the club ponied up the big bucks to have Cam’ron make an appearance for his birthday (thanks for the idea Vice Noisey). It’s a decent time and you feel somewhat privileged to be part of something exclusive. Unfortunately, except for that small group of die-hard clubbers, many will get their fill and won’t visit again for quite some time. The club’s attempt to “buy you” only worked for a few hours. If your social media strategy resembles a club party, here’s some advice for gaining fans and followers without buying them.

What types of parties have I missed? What are their social media tie-ins? Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts. I should also take a moment to apologize to George Bradt. He probably didn’t expect his highly-professional piece to be referenced in such a ruckus way. I guess that’s just how my mind connected the dots; that’s how my brain parties.