MortalCultural Kitchen (MCK) project for me was the first media product I have ever distributed via social media. I cannot identify myself as an advanced internet user; there is a huge difference between the usage of social media platforms for communication with friends and for commercial or promotional aims.
At the stage of the production period everything was fine. Our team had an idea – we were shooting a sarcastic and related to trash genre cooking show trailer, in which 9 out of 10 competitors were going to die in the end. MCK was a little bit silly, exaggerated and pointless project with the only one goal – to entertain viewers The task was accomplished – we wanted to create high-quality clip with a nice logo, mysterious voice over, epic music and sound effects and exclude moral and any sense – and we did it. By the time we needed to start our media campaign our team had a final cut and a couple of production stills. It was not much to share.
As a project was multicultural and “competitors” (actors) were coming from different countries, we agreed that it would be efficient to use as many social media platforms as possible, including those which operate only in specific regions. After we created an Instagram account, Twitter, Facebook page, several groups on Chinese and Russian websites and posted 3-4 photographs with an intriguing description, people started to subscribe and follow our pages. They did not know what this show was about; we provided them with limited information, so they wanted to know more. Personally, I made 4 posts on vk.com (Russian social media platform); 3 of them were production stills with a brief description of the process, and the last one – finished trailer. There was one thing that triggered for Russian followers; chef and judges were Russian and they cooked a traditional dish. Cultural identity made this video work.
When we uploaded the final video our followers eventually got the idea of MCK. First few days after release we have been constantly receiving the feedback – likes, comments, reposts, questions. We had nothing more to give them – no more secrets, no more content. As a result, people have lost their interest.
“If you want to develop a relationship with someone, it is always advisable to take the lead and to be active. Social Media are all about sharing and interaction, so ensure that your content is always fresh and that you engage in discussions with your customers.” (Andreas M. Kaplan, Michael Haenlein “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media”, 2010)
Later, after we have finished the project I have been thinking about this problem many times, making attempts to analyze what we did wrong. Our weakness was that we did not have enough material to make the blog posts regular. Frequency is a very important element in any campaign. However, we preferred to pay attention to the quantity of web pages, instead of the concentrating on frequency of new posts’ emergence.
We believed that we were going to make our media strategy more interactive and participatory, by involving followers into production, letting them choose nationalities of future participants, save “sentenced to death” competitors by voting and letting them be the part of the production team. It could have worked if MCK was for real. We had a beautiful idea but we could not apply it to our project. What we got in fact, is really weak campaign neither interactive nor participatory.
It is difficult to compare our social media campaign with any of existing campaigns. All I can is to mention one of my favorite TV-shows produced in Russia. “Orel and Reshka” (Heads or tails) is a travel show in which 2 presenters fly to a new country, toss a coin and one gets 100$ for a weekend and the other can spend as much money as possible. Their social media strategy is simple; one Facebook page and one group on VK (with the same page structure). Everyone can have a look on their new short clips, behind the scenes footage, events and so on. Lots of content, everything is clear and understandable.
What I would like to try this time is to use granularity as the key element of our strategy – lots of posts related to the topic and, what is more important, this posts should appear every day, to make followers get used to read us.