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Social networks: My 5 rules for survival in a hostile environment!

Our esteemed and addictive social networks have become the greatest allies of all communicators and marketers trying to use them without being… skinned alive.

These networks speak to the individual, to the deified or reified ego, defending its difference at all costs! In the past, only brands had access to the media: TV, radio and even the Internet. That time is over! Everyone has become a brand. Yes, “personal branding” is a thing. Brands are now forced to embrace this situation. As opposed to corporate brands, however, personal brands have no duty to express values and meaning (unfortunately).


How does one express this?

When communicating, brands must never appear to be too superficial, or the axe will fall: “this is all marketing!” . So, strategies are developing at the speed of a Google search! Forget your illusions: in the world of social networks, everything has been done and redone a thousand times over… In the advertising world of yesteryear – my age has nothing to do with my choice of vocabulary, in comms you age faster! – humour was sacred and little priority was given to meaning, values, the message… The Holy Grail was to be in the “Ad Culture”. Today, a social media campaign must still be funny, but at the same time powerful, original, surprising and, above all, aligned with the brand’s purpose. All of that in less than 30 seconds, “otherwise it’s boring!” .

In response to these impossible demands, I believe the net has generated clones using tried-and-tested formulas without knowing what the frantic scroller – that includes me – expects, or what brands get from it commercially, in terms of their image.


Let’s stop being afraid!

Of haters, failure or lack of commitment. Let’s build on the product or brand by relying on its codes, story and resources. A single goal: creating a feeling of goodwill, trust and loyalty – if we’re lucky, it might attract some hype! You know it’s successful when, a few months after the campaign’s launch, a prospect, client, follower or partner brings it up with great pleasure or a slightly trembling voice. OK fine, I exaggerate!

Never forget that social networks drown everything. Like all media channels, of course. But now, with everything stuck in limbo on the web – may data protection laws save us! – the content, whether good or bad, disappears at the speed of our scrolling, of advanced and unknown algorithms, of successive seconds that devour good and bad ideas in equal measure.


I want to share a few empirical rules with you. Or, shall we say, a few best practices:


Sincerity. No false promises, or you’ll most definitely trigger a bad buzz. And it’s easier to create a bad buzz than a little good buzz with 100,000 views, unless the bad buzz is part of a cynical strategy.


esthetics. We can no longer under-produce. The days of gonzo are over! The scroller is used to polished and well-produced images, more so if they are fleeting… Sorry! Professional Instagrammers have all been there. Everything is retouched, programmed and technically impeccable. In truth, that’s how we recognise them.


Quirkiness. Social networks encourage trashy posts, unadulterated emotion, the unexpected and the off-beat. Because, unless you have the support of a team of writers, being funny is often dangerous!


Embodiment. Once again, our Instagrammers got it right. Although I don’t confuse pictures with real life, they manage to build their followers’ trust, since they talk about themselves.


Meaning. Whether in terms of shape or substance, everything must reflect who you (the brand) are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.


That’s what we tried to combine in the most recent Kwerk campaign, “I work at La Défense”.


Sincerity. Rather than promoting our product head-on, we felt it relevant to first restore the reputation of the oft-ridiculed and criticised district where we are established. That’s why our protagonist joins a support group where he comes face-to-face with individuals who don’t understand him, symbolising the vox populi. Let’s turn a handicap into an opportunity!



Aesthetics. We work with a small team of professionals who have been following Kwerk for over a year. It proves our commitment and, above all, ensures that we stay in touch with our story.


Quirkiness. When it’s a brand value, you have to really push it! The subtly provocative hashtag #jebossealadefense (I work at La Défense) and the reaction of the protagonist confronted with everyday situations (more or less realistic) are sure to make you chuckle! You tell me…


Embodiment. The protagonist and a few others are Kwerk employees. We convey the message and display it in the video credits. We are witnesses and we are committed, as we believe in our vision. Yes, we love Kwerk!


Meaning. Humour, quirkiness, committed team, and positive message have always been our brand values. Our purpose, in a nutshell!


To summarise, our esteemed networks are at the crossroads of several disciplines: communication, advertising, marketing, loyalty, community, content, etc. In practice, this is fascinating as change is the only constant and you must invent your own “mix” based on your fundamentals, without being devoured by GAFAN*.


Goodbye and good luck!

Jérôme Badie

Head of Marketing Communications, Kwerk