Social Media: Even the Big Boys Make Mistakes

Virgin Social Media Marathon

Virgin's social media marathon failed to impress

They’re huge in a whole range of sectors, experts in what they do and a well known name in most UK households. But it seems the social media guys at Virgin haven’t quite grasped the value of their medium as they announce their latest offering – the Virgin Social Media Marathon.

With the main ’selling point’ being that “social media teams from every UK Virgin company, from Virgin Active to Virgin Wines, all Tweeting and Facebooking together from the same room for one day only”, reasoning seems to have taken a temporary vacation. Yes, you’re all together in one room and yes, I’m sure it will provide a wonderful opportunity for you to all to get to know each other better – but what value does it give your end user?

Consumers today are far more tech savvy than ever before and, assuming Virgin has identified that their audience is active online, they’re going to need more than a location based benefit. Instead, Virgin need to consider what their users will actually want to talk to them about and what value that conversation can provide.

With a plethora of websites under the Virgin brand, I’m sure the information users require is readily available and, together in one room or not, I’m sure the social media teams are already available online. So they need to find something different, a real hook that says to their audience “we understand what you want and we’re giving it to you”. A chat with Branson himself, perhaps, would be more enticing. Or live user research that allows the audience to really make a difference to the services that matter to them. Whatever they do, it must provide real value to their audience or it’s really not worth the time and effort.

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