I’m a sucker for infographics. Truck over to the RIGHTSLEEVE Pinterest page and you’ll see there’s a board devoted just to those charming nuggets of graphs and stats.

Naturally I wanted a RIGHTSLEEVE infographic of our very own and set out to rustle one up. I got one, but looking back on my quest, I see parallels to how customers want promo. Oh, and not the good kind of parallels.

I started my quest innocently enough, with a Google search. I found a few pages describing how to go about making a quality infographic. Things like: know what you want to convey, gather your data, take your time to create a custom look.

But, I want my infographic and I want it now!

The articles I found told me I was going to have to slow down and do some work. I didn’t want that. I wanted my graphic. So, I kept searching and found a site called visual.ly that is currently building software that will take the complex elements (like design and number-crunching skills) out of making infographics.

Notice I said “building software.”  As in, not available yet.

I was back to having to put effort and resources into our infographic.

The Band-Aid Solution

I kept peeking around on visual.ly (which does look like a really cool tool) and discovered that they could make an infographic for me based on the @RIGHTSLEEVE Twitter stats. And, they’d do it for free.

*Cue victory music*

I synced those bad boys up and got me an infographic.

Victory at Last!

Well, not really.

I have my infographic, but it’s not really worth anything. Sure, it’s cool for me to see the breakdown of our Twitter usage, but that doesn’t really matter to anyone who, well, matters. And, I don’t quite understand why the graphic says we have 1:1 “Follower:Following” ratio when we have over 1000 more followers than we follow.

Even though I have a graphic now, I’m not any further ahead because it doesn’t convey much of value to co-workers, clients, or readers.  It doesn’t serve anyone.

I have the shiny new thing, but it’s not worth anything.

This is exactly what a lot of people do with their swag campaigns. They want instant gratification. The cheapest solution. Something that’s not right, but that fills a want.

That’s why my infographic #fails. And why a lot of swag campaigns #fail.

The title of our infographic is “You Are What You Tweet.”  I like to think we’re more than that.  With swag.  And with any future infographics.