Social Media is Just Like a Buffy Episode


There is no life situation that can’t be solved by an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not even social media! For those of you unfamiliar, Buffy is the greatest television show ever and now a pop culture phenom.

Possibly one of the best episodes is the fourth season’s “Hush.” Don’t believe me? Ask the people who nominated it for an Emmy.

Basically, one night as the town of Sunnydale sleeps, the fairy-tale demons “The Gentlemen” come to town and steal everyone’s voice, because it is the scream that can kill them. The Gentlemen then proceed to try and kill others. Oh no! Buffy and her new hunky college crush must try to stop them. But how? Once they figure out that Buffy needs to get her voice back to kill The Gentlemen, wackiness ensues, as does a plan. She battles The Gentlemen, finds the box where the stolen voices were kept, gets said hunky boyfriend to open the box, gets her voice back, screams, and The Gentlemen literally lose their heads over it.

The moral of the story here, little boys and girls, is that sometimes, there are things that can be said, even if there is silence.

“How is this remotely like social meda?” you ask. Let me ‘splain. For traditional marketers, social media is like The Gentlemen, someone came and stole their marketing speak.

Suddenly, traditional marketers find that their traditional marketing pitches don’t work in the new social media space. They must learn to communicate in a new way. Additionally, they must learn to participate without actually speaking at all. They have to learn to listen! (Gasp! I know!) Marketers aren’t particularly good listeners. They’d rather you listen to them.

After the marketers have their marketing speak stripped away, and they’re forced to listen to what their customers say, when they break the box and get their marketing speak back, they’re better able to communicate with their customers!

So the moral of my story is, dear marketers, to embrace your marketing laryngitis. If you keep trying to communicate on social media with traditional marketing push messages, that’s exactly what you’re going to do – push your customers away. Social media is a “pull” medium. It requires you to listen and find out what your customers are asking of you. After you’ve developed a relationship with them, you can then customize your marketing message so that it’s accepted.

Thank you Buffy, for teaching us another important life lesson. 🙂

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