Author: Jonathan Crossfield

If it involves putting words in a row with the occasional punctuation, then Jonathan has most likely given it a bash; from copy writing to screenwriting, blogging to journalism. He has won awards for his articles on digital marketing and his over-opinionated blog, Atomik Soapbox. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @Kimota.

By jcrossfield published August 31, 2016

Social Media Mistakes: What Brands Should Do to Avoid Epic Fails


I woke up this morning with a sense of anxiety familiar to most writers — one that only comes from an impending deadline and absolutely no idea what to write. And then I switched on the TV to see that Prince had died.

Even while reaching for the iPad I knew there would be plenty of material to enable me to fill 1,200 angry words. Following a tragedy — particularly a major celebrity death — branded social media disasters have become as predictable as they are insensitive.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published July 20, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Marketer (2026 edition)


Editor’s note: Due to a failed attempt to integrate Evernote with an alarm clock, this column accidentally synced with a column from 2026. Normal service will be resumed as soon as someone remembers the account administrator’s password.

Barry Truffle is the chief experience officer (CXO) for BeetleJuice, the new drink brand capitalizing on the huge post-war demand for insect-protein foodstuffs. Barry agreed to show me how much the industry has changed in the decade since he started out as a social media manager in 2016.

I join Barry aboard the cross-town hoverzoom to the Corporate Sector. “These days I can work almost anywhere,” he says. “But I still like to visit the cubicle farm at least once a fortnight.”Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published May 15, 2016

Every Event Should Be Time for Social Media


I’m a sucker for a good conference, particularly when there’s a vibrant hashtag to keep me entertained. The ability to discuss the presentations with other delegates as they happen is extremely powerful.

On one level, there is a child-like thrill to swapping comments during a live event, akin to passing notes back and forth in class. (Yes, this can sometimes include heckling the speaker on stage.)Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published March 13, 2016

Is Your Social Media Content as Popular as You Think?


Marketers use a variety of metrics to collate, crunch, and calculate how their content performs in social media. Metrics such as shares, retweets, and views are often the easiest and most obvious to gather, but they may be the most deceptive and unreliable when evaluating whether your content is genuinely making a difference.

The marketing industry has a terrible habit of devaluing perfectly serviceable words and phrases by turning them into vaguely defined whiffle-dust. These buzzwords might add impressive-sounding sparkle to a strategy, but they usually conceal the lack of any genuine substance capable of driving measurable business outcomes.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published December 21, 2015

Is Viral Content Making You Sick?


Most of us know that achieving a viral hit is a crapshoot, even for the most skilled marketer. Your content is subject to the capricious, anarchic, unforgiving, cat-loving whims of the Internet. Yet, some still exploit meme culture to spread brand messages without understanding what it really means to “go viral.” [Face palm.]

So far, I’ve written this regular column on social media with barely a mention of the “v” word. Debunking the concept of viral content always seemed like too much of a slam dunk. How should I fill the remaining word count after stating the obvious in the first 100 or so words?Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published November 15, 2015

When Followers Attack: A Monty Python Guide to Maintaining Social Media Harmony


The day starts like any other – a bit of trivial hashtag banter, a share of a new infographic, and answers to customer queries. But then an unexpected and highly negative comment kicks you right in the sentiments. Followed by another. And another.

You try to take the complaints offline. “DM me your email,” you tweet. “Call our support line,” you post on Facebook. But the attacks, complaints, and heckles keep on coming.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published September 18, 2015

Social Media Automation: A Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action


I’m a strong believer that good writing should never sit on the fence, which is why I was pretty scathing in my column last year about social media automation. If a magazine column can be said to have a sequel, then this one should probably be retitled “Automation Wars 2: Jeff Bullas Strikes Back.”

Except Jeff is so likeable in person, I doubt he’s capable of striking anyone, never mind a grumpy magazine columnist. Jeff is consistently ranked as one of the most influential social media marketers in the world. A key part of his strategy is social media automation.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published July 12, 2015

Why BuzzFeed Shouldn’t Blow Your Marketing Mind


“Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be amazed! In this tent is something truly horrifying. Gentlemen will shudder. Ladies will swoon. Children will scream. Can you bear to look upon these monstrous freaks? Enter … if you dare!”

We all know the game by now. Carnival barkers use showmanship and staggering levels of hyperbole to make passers-by so curious that they just have to give a coin to find out what is beyond the gaudily painted tarpaulin. The disappointment they usually experience inside the tent is almost expected, but that’s part of the fun. There’s an unspoken agreement to play along. After all, it doesn’t cost too much, probably only lasts a few minutes and – importantly – they go to the carnival in search of exactly this kind of cheesy thrill.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published February 11, 2015

Don’t Believe the Hype: What Ello Really Means for Content Marketers

Grid of FacePrint magazines being what they are, I pitched the idea of writing about the invitation-only, ad-free social network, Ello, at the beginning of October 2014. This was not long after both mainstream media and various online marketing communities achieved peak Ello hype. At the height of the noise, Ello was apparently generating 4,000 requests an hour and there was even a black market for invites on eBay.

Meanwhile, the interwebs were full of repetitive articles pontificating about whether Ello could be the one to finally knock Facebook from the No. 1 spot in the social media charts.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published December 5, 2014

Group Think: How to Improve Your Social Content Results


About once a week, my letter box contains a real estate flier. “We recently sold a house in your area for a record amount,” declares the smiling, yellow-jacketed headshot. “Have you considered selling your home?”

Not really. We’re renting, so I’m pretty sure our landlord would have something to say about it. We hope to buy in the area next year, but with this sort of messaging we’re not exactly optimistic we’ll get a fair price.Continue Reading