Just read a really good article in Marketing Week (11th February) by Richard Madden – ‘Stop putting the social media cart before the content horse’. He gives a fantastic example of the principals behind great social marketing campaigns, using a case study from over 100 years ago! He takes the story from a book by Herbert Lottman called The Michelin Men: Driving an Empire.

He writes ‘A little surprisingly for a social media case study, the story starts in France in 1900, when brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin were searching for a cost-effective way to build their car and bicycle tyre brand. Their solution, as everyone knows, was to publish the definitive travel guide for road users. What is so impressive is the way in which the Michelin Guide achieved so much of what is great about the best social media, a full 100 years before the channel’s invention. It wasn’t about tyres, but about something much more interesting to the French – food. The original Michelin guide ticked all the social media best practice boxes. It was genuinely useful, it invited participation, it was given away free at petrol stations, and readers were invited to provide corrections and suggestions. They were even encouraged to leave the guide in view when visiting restaurants to guarantee good service.’

Food for thought, particularly for my fellow hospitality people!