why social media for brands sucks

Posted on October 28, 2010


so here is what i dont get, why do marketers think that people who like their brand on facebook actually like their brand? or are going to buy their brand? or that it even means anything at all other than i saw your call to action and responded for a reason that is often not linked to you at all (i.e. a prize).

firstly, facebook friends arent really friends. avg persons facebook friends are apparently over 100 now – so that doesnt sound very real. also, those social streams are a nightmare wth that much noise – so not much chance of seeing your ” love my brand” message as it is drowned out by photos and inane comments from the 90 other not real friends!

secondly, liking an ad doesnt mean very much. coca-cola has canned (little pun) a lot of campaigns that people loved because…. wait …. it didnt actually sell more cola!

this doesnt mean i dont think there is some great and meaningful use of social media out there, there are some awesome viral campaigns that i love. would i buy the product – probably not (old spice and dove come to mind), but with a great broad reach these campaigns have been a great success. interestingly though, the success hasnt been because people like the brand, but rather because people like what the brand stands for and how it aligns with what they stand for. think of it as band t-shirts or dressing like a goth, its the great human need to be an individual by belonging to a group and brand communication with a message gives us that!

also, social media is just that… social. so think about how what you do makes your “friends” more social i.e. you are not the objective, your “friends” social interaction fun/meaning is the objective.