What Brands Expect Out of Social Media: Quid Pro Quo

Yesterday, the Modern Media Man Summit received it’s greatest level of support to date: A whopping, super duper sponsorship from Chevrolet and General Motors.  This one announcement has taken M3 to a new level of credibility, and today, we’ve been in touch with two other significant sponsors from two other spaces in the marketplace.  

What we as men and dad bloggers now must also come to realize is that it’s now our job to reciprocate in the generosity of Chevrolet and GM,  P&G’s project Man Of  The House, PitchEngine, and iContact, and bring our A-Games to the equation.

In our quest to seek sponsors, we’ve heard from a good many of them about the frustration brands have when they get taken for granted by other bloggers in the past who seemed a little less savvy to the principles of doing business.

Companies are into social media because of the value of the relationships they have with bloggers and social media mavens.  And like all good relationships, there needs to be a balance between give and take.

I’m not speaking on behalf of any of our sponsors specifically, but brands make investments in conferences like M3 so that they also yield a return on their investment.  They are, after all, in existence to make money.  Investing in conferences like M3, is a newer form of traditional marketing.  Likewise, if they make a buy in a local/national newspaper and they don’t see any shifts in purchase trends, they move away from that modality in the future and put it somewhere else where there will be a positive return with measurable metrics.

Seriously, isn’t this how all of us do business?  We try something.  If it brings tangible results, we consider it a success.  If we’re making such investments on behalf of a client and we place their money on something and if in the end, there’s a low ROI, how likely is it that your client is going to let you do it again the following year?

This is one of the prime factors M3 is seeking to make sure doesn’t happen as we assist men and dad bloggers in their formations of partnerships with brands in the future.  Let’s face it, there are some Wanna Be Mom Diva bloggers out there, whom we all know and “love,” who contact brands and say, “Hi, I’m @SuzieSweetieSnazzle on Twitter, and I’d like for you to let me know when I can come pick up:  a car … try out a new phone …  get a whole exercise gym in my house … get a new house to live in … etc. Now, can I come get one tomorrow or when will it be delivered?”

How do you think brands feel when they get this sort of treatment?   How would you feel if you were a brand manager and got a DM from @SuzieSweetieSnazzle? **

My guess is the first thing you’d say to yourself is, “Well, let’s ship one out to Suzie right now!”  Uh, no.

Ultimately, the questions would start with, now how much would that cost me?  How much reach does @SuzieSweetieSnazzle even have?  Oh, she has 69 followers on Twitter, is following 1,996, and has 98 friends on Facebook, and has an Alexa ranking somewhere between 5-6 million worldwide.  Seeing that, you’d say, “Let me pick up the phone and call shipping!”  Uh, no.

Guys, we have our chance to show that we understand how to participate in the social media space with brands.  Several of our guys have been knowingly joking in their tweets about how they’d like to use Chevrolet products for the drive to program to M3 since we made the announcement.  While I’m sure all of us would like to get our own Camaro or Corvette to drive cross country to the event, that’s not what our sponsor has in mind.  (I’m sure they’re happy though to see us using their product names, so don’t let that stop!)

Indeed, they’re trying to reach family men; Guys who are excited to have a turn at the wheel of one of their new lines of Chevrolet or GM SUVs or Crossovers.  (And guys, on a cross-country road trip, it’ll be okay to share the wheel.)

They want us to feature cars that look sleek on the outside, but also are practical enough to use back at home with moms who you have 2.5 kids with; who like 2-2-3 row seating configurations because that means you’re not going to have to fool with a bench row when you get the kids out of the car for school/soccer drop offs; and yet is still sophisticated enough with OnStar, cool gadgets like the back up camera, the Bluetooth connections for your cell phone, and the Bose speakers so you can crank it when you get to drive to the ZippyMart to pick up a gallon of milk at 9:30 p.m or put gas in the car for the next morning’s routine.

And by reaching guys who are interested in those particulars, it’s then where we’re going to be looking for guys who are the mayors of great places to eat on FourSquare, who tell great photo and word stories on Whrrl, who Tweet their business–”Hey Y’all, I just passed a (insert name of cool-looking @Chevrolet product) that looks like the one I’m in & damn, I know I’m hot because she looked hot in hers.”  (Obviously, there’d be the hope at that point that the Mrs. doesn’t follow your Tweets.)

And then there’s the prospect of blogging, posting pictures of your adventure, and, even asking others to write about their experiences in the same make of car. (My example to you of such would be from my relationship with @GMTexas, who loaned me a 2010 Traverse in June and we created www.TraverseAdventures.com)

At Modern Media Men Summit, we’re thrilled to have a sponsor like Chevrolet on board.  They’ve been great to work with and are really excited about coming to Atlanta Sept. 9-11 for our first-ever event.  Obviously, we’re still looking to close the deal on other great brands and get others to join with them.  Our essential point to all brand managers and potential sponsors out there reading this is simple:  As men and dad bloggers, we get it.  We’re happy to do the Quid Pro Quo dance with you in Hotlanta.

Like I’ve said, a sponsor like Chevrolet is fantastic to have aboard as our Platinum Sponsor.  The company that forever has burned the notion of “Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” has stepped up to the proverbial plate.  Now it’s time for Modern Media Men to bring their bats.  We’ve got some social media hitting to do.

** (For clarity’s sake, I do not know anyone named SuzieSweetieSnazzle and the characters make the name impossible to have on Twitter.)

  1. iFroggy

    Patrick O'Keefe iFroggy

    @daddyclaxton I think that a lot of it has to do simply with how you were raised, too, oddly enough. I’ve been talking with companies and receiving free products since at least 2003 or so, when I would have been 18. I never had the obnoxious, gross sense of entitlement that your post mentions and that I’ve seen in people. Definitely ugly! 17 minutes ago via web

This is an image of the tree line from the new County Road 510 Bridge near Marquette, Michigan.



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