Fast food chicken chain and southern standby, Bojangles, ventured out into the social space earlier this year with a solid presence on Flickr, Youtube, and Twitter, all titled as “GottaWannaNeeda”. It is a play on their jingle “Gotta wanna needa getta havva Bojangles”.
One problem, they never registered GottaWannaNeeda.com (I did, see footnote). If you are going to invest that heavily in a username on multiple social networks, then please spend the $10 to register the domain, even if it is just a redirect to GottaWannaNeeda.Bojangles.com (currently does not exist) or to their Facebook page (50k+ fans). It is a simple step that gives Bojangles an opportunity to make their social media presence a little more cohesive.
Erik J. Heels (a social media savvy lawyer) speaks on why Brands should use the same name across multiple social networks, and why brands need to ensure they have their domain names on Twitter. Both make several strong points about consistency. These really simple steps avoid confusion, give the brands more control of where their audience finds them, and really just makes it look like they care and know what they are doing.
Bojangles also does not have the “gottawannaneeda” Facebook personalized URL. They rightly snatched up Facebook.com/Bojangles. But there are other page/profile opportunities that I think would have allowed them to use this. And of course, it would be nice to see them integrate these efforts on their main site.
They already have someone (either PR firm or internal) making the effort to upkeep a Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook presence. Not having a blog as a home base that they actually own, aggregating the rest of their social media activity, is a big misstep. It could even go on GottaWannaNeeda.com.
I am not trying to pick on Bojangles. They are just my most recent example. I think this is a sign of a larger issue. We are to the point now, where most people realize they need to jump on this social media bandwagon. Two problems take hold for the company entering the social media space for the first time.
Testing the Waters Syndrome
Every big brand especially wants to somehow test out social media. This is understandable. To them it is an unproven medium and sinking big money in such an open, scary marketing channel is not an easy step. Testing is usually a smart move. Advisable even. However, this “test the waters” syndrome can easily lead to a half-assed effort. If you are going to put your brand out there into social media with any branded effort, make sure it looks like you have thought it through. Take the extra time or the little extra money it takes to care for the details.
Not Enough Experts
Many would say there are no “social media experts”. For the sake of this point, let’s just say there are not enough. Every major advertising agency and PR firm in the country is now getting asked to “do social media” whether they know what they are doing or not. They read a couple case studies. Learn some insights from a few blog posts, and put something out there for the brand to taste. This is natural with a new marketing channel. The brands and their agencies need to give care to these efforts. Pushing forward within social media is great, but be sure you give it the attention to detail that you give to your traditional marketing channels. Don’t be afraid to bring in a savvy consultant. Even asking the audience for advice is helpful.
I am glad to see Bojangles getting out there, and as I said, I am not trying to pick on them. Many companies make these small mistakes daily. It is important for all companies to remember that social media has many nuances. Give it the care and attention needed to get the details right. People will notice.
Since I put it out there that this domain was unregistered. I went ahead and grabbed it myself so that someone did not try to squat the domain and keep it from Bojangles. If they want the domain, it is theirs. I do not need it and don’t want to make money on it. Just preventing others from doing so. For now, it redirects to this post.