Is Your Brand Like Pinocchio?


Brands should strive to be “real” in social media, just like Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy. Social media enthusiasts call this being transparent.

Webster’s dictionary defines transparency as free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, readily understood, and characterized by visibility or accessibility of information.

Some companies are totally transparent with who is managing their social media sites, For example, Scott Monty [@scottmonty] tweets for Ford Motor Company and Frank Eliason is the voice behind Comcast Cares [@comcastcares]. On the other hand, some companies are not transparent. This leaves an even larger responsibility on them: managing consumer expectations of the brand.

When I follow Doritos on Twitter [@DoritosUSA], I know there is not an actual chip tweeting from a bag in the back of the factory. I connect because I am familiar with the brand through other forms of advertising and my own product experiences. A couple of commercials, featuring model, Ali Landry, come to mind. I remember that Doritos had a contest for consumers to create their own commercial- that was aired during Super Bowl XLI. I expect edginess, creativity, and a youthful tone with this brand in how they communicate with me socially. I expect the brand to be consistent whether on TV, a print ad, their website, or Facebook fan page. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their Twitter bio describes their brand to a tee: “Not only are our chips packed with serious crunch and crave-able flavors, the DORITOS brand is all about intense experiences in snacking and beyond.”

How do companies manage consumer expectations through social marketing? Take a look at the brand’s marketing materials, website, and advertising in other media. If the brand were a person, what kind of person would it be? How would it speak with a consumer on a peer to peer level? Would the brand and its consumer be friends in a real-life situation? If you are not true to your brand, then your nose will grow and consumers will be turned off.

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