Is A Brand Your Friend?

Is a brand your friend?

Overheard this week:

“Social Media is where brands act like people and people act like brands.

People acting like brands 

Is a Brand Your Friend?

Friends can buy you a drink right?

As individuals, social media is used by many as a personal branding platform. Once you become adept at twitter, Google+ or the social network flavor of the day, you’ll see people using social as a stage — a way to tell you about themselves. Those that do it well attract large audiences by providing interesting information, curated content, expert advice and use social networks to have a dialogue. Those that do it poorly are insufferable bores that share trite advice, link to stuff that you’ve already seen and only want to talk about themselves. Etiquette, content and style matter.

Brands acting like people

Brands come at social from a different angle. They realize that they just can’t focus on themselves and their products. In order to attract an audience, they must create and curate content that serves their customers.  Brands can’t broadcast on social networks the way they advertise on TV or radio. It’s a different medium with different expectations. They have to adapt their techniques to act more “human”. A great example of this is the Chase Community Giving social campaign. By focusing on philanthropy (not products), Chase has garnered an audience of over 3 million on Facebook. I imagine Chase was already quite generous and by turning their philanthropic efforts into a social campaign they are able to generate a positive affinity for their brand. Tthat they can then work to convert those “likes” into customers.

Yeah, but does it work?

Studies (A, B, C) show that people don’t want to “like” a brand. The idea puts people off. Brands are not my friends, my friends are my friends. However, people who follow brands tend to be strong brand advocates that will promote and defend a brand on social networks.


Photo credit Glenn Harper

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