Social media doesn’t work for your brand because your brand is boring

By Billy Leonard, content account director

Harvest Digital


The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

Find out more

July 19, 2017 | 5 min read

So you’re putting all this time into social media, but what exactly are you getting back? Well, it doesn’t seem to be driving conversions, really. You don’t seem to get much referral traffic either. So what the heck is the point? You spent at least two hours a week writing social content, why isn’t this whole thing paying off yet?

Harvest Digital - social hashtags

Is your organisation too boring to succeed on social?

We get it. Your boss read an article about social media and all the cool brands are on it, so you now need to be on it too. You’re spouting some nonsense about your business, but you don’t seem to be getting hundreds of followers. All of your sales messages seem to be getting ignored, which is weird… Wasn’t social media supposed to drive thousands of sales for the business?

Well, guess what? Social media is not going to work for your B2B product, or your financial product – unless you’re investing heavily in paid ads. It just isn’t. Your brand is boring, so no one will pay attention to you. It’s as simple as that.

I know that this is hard for a lot of you to hear, but it’s time to face facts. Your brand is boring and people don’t want to engage with things that are boring.

Who among us wants to constantly be sold something? Who among us wants to constantly be pitched to, over and over and over? No one.

So what’s the answer? Be creative. Knowing what people like doesn’t require a marketing study and you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds building customer personas.

Take Innocent for example. I know they get dragged up time and time again as a great social brand, but there’s a reason for that. It’s because they are.

They don’t spend every waking moment telling us to buy smoothies, or reminding us of the health benefits of fruit. Innocent aren’t here to constantly sell, sell, sell. They understand the real power of social media is engaging with fans, which is exactly what they do.

Innocent are fun. They engage with their audience base in entertaining and creative ways and, shockingly to many people in the c-suite, they have quite a lot of autonomy.

Innocent’s community managers are free to tweet things that are quite abstract, but they’re often the posts that do the best. They don’t take every opportunity on social to plug their products because they know that doesn’t work.

Compare that with what you do. Wait, what do you do? You spend two hours a week writing product-led content, schedule it and leave it. Set it and forget it. And you think this is going to drive engagement? You think your audience is going to be interested in a couple of generic, bland tweets and a boring Facebook post?

They’re not. None of us are. If you read back your social content and think ‘wow that’s boring’ then there’s a strong chance that everyone else will. If you, as an employee, aren’t even interested in what you have to say, then literally nobody else will care either.

Instead, you should be thinking of ways you can add value to other people’s timelines. Humour is a good way to go. It’s worked for brands like Denny’s, Taco Bell and Netflix, but it can be difficult to master.

The other option is to be more informative. Helping people get the information they need is a great way to gain more traction for your brand. But don’t take this down the typical, boring route. Think about whether or not you’re actually helping your customers. If not, scrap it and start again. Getting messaging that works for both the brand and your customers can take time, but it’s worth it.

So mix it up. Be creative. Think about how you can position your brand to be more engaging with consumers. Then you’ll really start to see proper engagement and, who knows, maybe your brand will become a bit less boring.

Billy Leonard is content and outreach executive at Harvest Digital


Content by The Drum Network member:

Harvest Digital

Harvest Digital is a leading performance-based full service digital marketing agency based in the heart of London. Our clients span many different sectors – finance,...

Find out more

More from Technology

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +