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 December 8, 2017

The Murky World of Influencer Marketing: How Non-Disclosure Can Hurt Your Brand


Ever since marketers cottoned on to the potential for social media to drive influential word-of-mouth brand recommendations, they’ve tried to either foster or fake these discussions.

“I heartily endorse this event or product,” says a monotone Krusty the Clown in a snippet of video used to advertise everything from cough syrup to atomic particle accelerators. Krusty’s cut-and-paste approach to celebrity endorsement might be a long-running gag on The Simpsons, but the rise of influencer marketing in social media may mean the joke is getting just a little too close to reality.

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By jcrossfield published August 23, 2017

Is Your Social Content Picture-Perfect or Merely Taking Stock?


Attention span in social media can be measured in split seconds, not minutes. While your update hopes to entice me to click or interact with your content, there are hundreds of other posts right below yours also crying for my attention. And should your choice of eye-catching image cause me to pause for a moment, my finger is constantly resting on the screen, waiting to flick-scroll your content up the feed and off my screen with the tiniest of well-practiced muscle reflexes.

Here’s the bad news: This fleeting first impression may be the only opportunity many people have to discover your content. And if you waste that opportunity, it won’t matter how well researched, brain meltingly creative, and all-round wonderful your social content might be because we’ll never know.

Sure, you can’t judge a book by its cover but, in a crowded bookstore, covers help us find those books that we might enjoy while skipping over the thousands of others we haven’t the time to “judge” by reading. Similarly, when our social media feeds are choked with content links begging for attention, you better hope your choice of image causes people to stop and take notice.

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By jcrossfield published June 9, 2017

Is Your Brand Really Who It Says It Is?

brand-really-who-says-it-isAccording to the famous 1993 New Yorker cartoon, “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Are any of us – brands and individuals alike – really who we say we are? Welcome to the quagmire that is authenticity in social media. Watch your step. It’s a minefield!

“Authenticity” has become one of those marketing buzzwords I love to hate, particularly when discussing social media marketing. Sure, authenticity inspires trust, and brands need to be trusted if their marketing is to be effective. But I do take a perverse pleasure in watching marketers tie themselves in knots trying to explain how authenticity is to be achieved.

I’ve read a number of articles arguing that authenticity must be at the heart of any marketing strategy… while also insisting authenticity isn’t about being strategic. Or that authenticity is not necessarily about being honest or transparent… but is absolutely about being genuine. Continue Reading

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