Friday, June 16, 2017

Quarters, not Pennies

Let’s talk about companies’ social media personalities.  Is it better to be likable, politically correct and drama-free, or, is it better to take a stance and be unapologetically honest?  This opinion article states the latter, and I whole-heatedly agree.   The former, will likely keep your follower numbers up and your hater count down. But, how valuable are those followers? Do they have any sort of loyalty to your brand?  Companies who aren’t afraid to develop a true personality and take a stance can be confident their following truly identifies with their company; they are valuable.  At the end of the day it’s a simple comparison that can be used in both business and your personal life: would you rather have 4 quarters, or 100 pennies?

The author, Brian Cristiano, suggests that companies who are authentic, stand for something, embrace the haters, and aren’t afraid to be themselves, are more successfully building their consumer base than those whose strategy is to gain as many followers as possible.  The theory makes sense.  Before companies began taking advantage of social media as a means of marketing and advertising, it was just a way for humans to interact with each other.  From a consumer standpoint, it still is a method of communicating and interacting with other humans.

Companies who add what Cristiano calls some “magic filter” to their social media presence dehumanize themselves and become mediocre.  Consumers continue to view those companies’ presence as merely an advertisement.  Others, on the contrary, who aren’t afraid to stir the pot a bit, develop a personality that has been built from the people behind the posts.  I can’t say I know many people, or really, anyone, who goes on social media to check out the newest menu item Wendy’s has added.  But, to see Wendy’s throwing some shade at McDonald's? Yea, I’ll definitely give that post a like.  

See the article for more about Cristaino’s 4 guidelines to building “rabid fans”

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