Sunday 2nd April
Marketing genius – well I thought so, anyway! I awoke to some pretty interesting and thought provoking news stories yesterday morning. Little did I know it was the first of the month, and as part of an annual tradition, companies with any nouse online and wanting to get in on the April Fools’ day action, attempt to capture some of the social media attention by curating the daftest, yet believable, stories to engage their audience.
Whilst completing my early morning scan of social media networks I read of the news that the Guernsey pound note was to be recalled after the recent adoption of the new 12-sided pound coin. Shortly after that I read of news that a new inflatable housing estate was to be introduced by a leading estate agent here in Guernsey. At this point I started to wonder what I was reading, but judging by my recent lack of sleep, due to my latest arrival less than three weeks away, I didn’t really question it.
I then read an update from an international airline, about a newly anticipated triple decker plane that would be introduced. At this point I thought, how the hell is that thing going to take off with a swimming pool in it! At this point it hit me – April Fools’s Day. I chuckled at the efforts the likes of Emirates had gone to to embrace this annual tradition, which made me laugh when reading it, and I can imagine the rest of their 7+ million people who like their page online also enjoyed it.
Whilst skimming the rest of the news yesterday, a post from our local tourism board, Visit Guernsey, outlining the introduction of new underwater cycling routes to Herm & Sark caught my attention. At this point I came to my senses, also realising the pound note story was also a hoax. I came to the conclusion that this was another ploy to generate attention online, with the aim of obtaining a few new likes and grasping a few extra shares on the various social networks used by local and international brands.
I would say the four posts I stumbled upon on Facebook did quite well in terms of exposure (correct at the time of writing on 02.04):
- New triple decker plane – 185,000 likes, 89K shares & 21k comments
- Underwater cycling routes – 520 likes, 204 shares & 68 comments
- Removal of Guernsey pound coin – 194 likes, 97 shares & 72 comments
- New inflatable housing plot – 104 likes, 2 shares & 6 comments
It just goes to show that the right curated content, released at a relevant time that resonates with the brands audience, can do wonders in terms of increasing their exposure. Regardless of whether you are an international airline or local estate agent, it all helps. Whilst I won’t be flying on a plane with a swimming pool anytime soon, it has certainly reinforced to me how easy it for artificial news stories to snowball online, and, when done well, it can only reinforce that these brands are managed by humans at the end of the day who do have a sense of humour, and when given the opportunity, they can sometimes display marketing genius.