Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Interacting with brands on social networks

An article in yesterday’s Advertising Age discussed a survey of people who had used social networking sites at least once a month and developed basic demographic and psychographic profiles. The article was not very insightful (Myspace users are younger, LinkedIn users are richer), but one subject got me thinking.

Half of us have “friended” or become a fan of a brand. Just under 20% react positively when they see brands on our social networks and about the same react negatively. 20% of us want more communication from brands and 35% want less.

Why did this part get me thinking? Because as usual, the real answer is that “it depends.” General questions like this are pretty useless. If Hershey’s wants to contact me with a free sample, then I will want more communication and react positively. If they put up some inane ad, then I want less and react negatively. Since this is an Advertising Age article, what they should talk about is how the brands can craft their communications to fit into the positive categories and avoid the negative ones. Like this newly viral video that is really an Evian ad.


Rochelle Broder-Singer said...

Certain brands lend themselves to more interaction. For instance, I am a "fan" of Zingerman's deli. They regularly post updates about food-related events they're having. Those updates make me wish I was visiting Ann Arbor, and I enjoy them. Oh, and it keeps the big Z top of mind for food ordering. If there was a brand that did the same with local events, I would enjoy the updates, and would even attend some events, so it could be very effective. The problem: I don't care about inane updates, even from brands I love.

marc said...

So it comes down to two things. Only the brands you want to see present any value, and only if their contribution has value to you as an individual.

I am a fan of the Boston Red Sox on FB. I often get posts about Red Sox stuff that I enjoy reading. Good value.

I am also a fan of an organization I will not name on FB. They send crap. I really care about the organization, but I am tempted to de-fan them because they post such garbage.