Amongst many other things, I am an observer. I spend a great deal of time observing at how businesses use social media to benefit their bottom line. I am a huge advocate of using social media tools to advance any organization’s reach. In fact, online community moderation is what I love to do more than anything else.
That said, as of late, I have noticed a disturbing trend amongst brands trying to connect with their audience on Twitter and Facebook. I am not going to sit here and tell you about how important it is to connect with your audience online, god knows we’ve all read enough about that and we all realize that it’s a much needed aspect of doing business. What I’m here for is to point out an observation I have. It seems that certain brands are making the mistake of being overly friendly to their customers.
Working towards humanizing a brand does wonders to brand’s visibility. After all, we all want to connect with our clients and extend our reach. However, going over board with trying to connect with your audience leads to disaster. It’s a fine line between the two and brands need to be careful in distinguishing where that line exists.
I’ve already mentioned in a prior post but I was at complete admiration of Calvin Klein’s Facebook campaign to help launch their new line of underwear. It was clever, it was engaging and they managed to connect to so many of their customers without being the clingy-over-sharing friend that you don’t want to have. Another brilliant strategy was delivered by Burberry under the name of Art of the Trench. Fans got to upload their photos wearing their favorite Burberry trench coat and share it with equally in love-with-Burberry fans. Those two might be a little less known compared to the ingenious work of W+K with Old Spice.
On the other hand, there’s a hotel in Chicago. This hotel is popular for its great location, great service and wonderful amenities. They have a Facebook fan page that is, for a lack of a better word, miserable. Just the other day I caught a status talking about a certain White Sox player doing something unexpected during a game. Yes, it got some people talking but how many people did it turn off? People who do not care for the White Sox, people who do not care for baseball, people who do not care for sports. The community manager might think that mentioning such a specific topic might get fans (clients) to engage by voicing a strong opinion but this community manager forgot that by doing so they are alienating everyone else who is unfamiliar with such topic. Please do not take this as an invitation to become boring and sterile. It’s more of an art than science. If done in tasteful tact it will help you reach, as Buzz Lightyear might say, infinity… and beyond!
The trick in any successful community moderation is to create and strengthen the sense of community between your target audience and not becoming their long lost best friend. Think about a leader, not a follower. I can’t help but think about it the same way I think of a symphony orchestra. The conductor is a man much like everyone else he leads but he is the one that makes sure everyone is in unity without the need to play a musical instrument himself.read more