Author: Jonathan Crossfield

Jonathan Crossfield describes himself as a storyteller because writer, editor, content strategist, digital marketer, journalist, copywriter, consultant, trainer, speaker and blogger wouldn’t fit neatly on a business card. Jonathan has won awards for his magazine articles and blog posts on digital marketing, but that was so long ago now it seems boastful to keep mentioning it in bios. He lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with a very patient wife and one very impatient cat. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @Kimota.

By jcrossfield published May 12, 2017

Is it Time to Abolish Social Media?


Sometimes I wonder how I’m still allowed to write a regular column on social media, never mind that it seems to be reasonably popular. I’m unlikely to ever write about Snapchat, for example, partly because I still can’t get my head around the platform, but mainly because focusing on the technical minutiae of specific tools seems irrelevant. It’s like discussing the art of the novel by analyzing the brand of typewriter George Orwell used.Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published February 5, 2017

Going Potty for Facebook: How a Toilet Paper Brand Won Social


Regular readers know I can be a tad disparaging of a lot of Facebook marketing. It’s not that Facebook is lacking as a content platform – far from it. My cynicism derives more from the low-quality content and threadbare strategies I see every day in my newsfeed or, more often, in groups dedicated to ridiculing those brands that merely chase “likes” and (**cough**)engagement.”

There’s a PowerPoint slide that makes it into most of my workshops: “A Facebook page isn’t a content marketing strategy in exactly the same way that a telephone isn’t a sales strategy.”Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published December 14, 2016

Social Media: Is Your Content All Rhetoric?


In social media, the audience pulls the strings. Most of the time, our social media activities are designed to encourage the audience to pull strings that favor us – amplifying our content or spreading our message – but if the audience doesn’t agree with what we have to say or sees an opportunity for mischief, we can quickly lose all control.

While many marketers focus on reach and engagement, none of that matters if the message contained within our content doesn’t resonate with the audience.  Continue Reading

By jcrossfield published November 20, 2016

Do You Operate in a Social Media Bubble? 3 Questions to Ask


In Lewis Carroll’s fantastical tale Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, the eponymous heroine discovers a very different world on the other side of a mirror, occupied by people and creatures she never imagined could exist.

Yet, were we to look into the same looking glass, we would see ourselves reflected. Any different realities, ideas, and viewpoints of another world would remain out of view.Continue Reading

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