Yesterday at Social Media Camp NYC there was an interesting session on ‘Persona Blogging.’ In fairness to the speaker, I didn’t sit in on the whole thing but the portion I was there for was quite interesting.
- A 28-year old female from NYC, will NEVER understand the life (i.e. persona) of a 40-year old woman with a full-time job and two kids. No matter how much they hang out on iVillage, watch Lifetime movies, or read blogs written by moms; it’s just not going to happen because they aren’t living it.
- Social media no longer relies on demographics alone. Social media focuses on behavior (wants, needs, etc.) too. So back to my example above, how would a 28-year old female from NYC understand or emulate the behavior of a 40-year old with a full-time job and two kids? They can’t…they can only pretend. And pretending doesn’t last because eventually the fake persona will slip up and say something that is uncharacteristic of the real persona.
- People are generally smart. They might buy into a fake persona for a bit, especially if that fake persona is entertaining. But it won’t last and eventually the fake persona will be found out. Then the company that hired the fake persona will need to do damage control and the person/agency that set up the fake persona will lack credibility—for a long time. The Internet is a small and permanent place.
I don’t see any ethical angles to justify the fake persona. If you are a B2C or B2B company, why not just hire real people who are completely loyal to your brand? Why not try WOM? There are a lot of other ways to genuinely promote your brand. And, you know what they say… “garbage in, garbage out.”
What do you think? Will persona blogging work as a promotion tactic? Or should we take a stand to wipe this tactic off the promotions list?[image: iStock]