In Search of the Corporate Mullet

Bring the mullet backFirst, I apologize if I’ve offended anyone that sports a mullet. This post is not aimed at you. Quite the contrary, you are actually my new model citizens.

As I browse the corporate blogs, tweets, and fan pages out there, I’m disappointed by how banal and predictable most of them are. While there is some very informative content out there, by and large there’s a complete lack of personality. Always clean-cut is no way to go through life. The same should hold true for your social media efforts.

Instead, find your inner corporate mullet. Business up front is good, but don’t forget to show the party in the back.

A celebrity with a million followers isn’t just tweeting about his next big movie or endorsement. No, he’s talking about anything under the sun, even at the risk of being quirky. And it endears him to his fans. Ashton Kutcher didn’t get to 5 million + fans by acting like a corporate brand. When in reality he is as much a brand as any big business.

Same goes for some of the best marketers I follow on the web. They don’t just talk marketing. Instead they’re engaged in entirely unrelated conversations that tell me who they are as people (something I am trying to better apply to my own digital life). Some of my favorite marketers include @marketingprofs, @dmscott (who just wrote a great story on storytelling) and @sarasantiago (who was just named one of the 100 coolest peeps in Milwaukee. I’m told I just missed the cutoff at 101). All of them have one thing in common – they are not your run-of-the-mill, blatant self-promoters.

I’m not trying to stop you from doing your press releases and case studies. Those are important too. But just talking corporate speak isn’t going to bring you any closer to real people. And as I said in an earlier blog, as a B2B marketer, I can’t forget that the one who ultimately buys my product/service/solution is a person (not a business).

If real people make the ultimate purchase decisions, why don’t we talk to them like they’re real people? You have my permission to stop acting like a business, if only for a moment. Go forth and flaunt that mullet. Who knows… you may even like it!

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