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Brands: Will They Ever Be Your Friend

March 2, 2013

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In a way I agree with the author of “Why Fans Un-Friend Your Brand on Facebook”, from personal experience brands on facebook are annoying. Heck, friends on facebook are annoying! Most of my friends get to stay on my friends list because they are cool in real life, even if their facebook posts are irritating. Brands don’t have the luxury of being “cool in real life” they are what the social media portrays them as until a customer purchases from them and gets to have interactions that make them willing to put up with facebook bs.

I was surprised by (and still don’t fully believe) the fact that the number one reason people unfriend brands is because they no longer care about the product. Personally, I would think the number one reason is because they are annoying. Annoying to me would mean posting too much content, basically shoving their products down my online throat. People are exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day, facebook should be a place for friends to connect, not for more ads.

To keep facebook friends interested, brands have to be more personal. They can’t use facebook as free advertising space because people won’t listen. Facebook should be a place where people can “interact” with the brand.

I don’t have much experience in this department but two examples come to mind. Every so often I have seen screen caps of people who have written funny things to their favorite brands and have actually gotten replies back. I tried this once to Cheez-its, I told them we were perfect for each other and I loved them and they replied “Yes Hailey, it appears we are one of a Cheez kind”. It was a funny response but the fact that they personally replied to me made me like their company more, and it made me more willing to like their page. The second example comes from my research on Victoria’s Secret last week, where they give exclusive coupons to their facebook friends. While this isn’t direct, personal contact it still keeps the customer interested and willing to put up with being their friend if they get coupons every once in a while. However, giving coupons could lead to the “self-fulfilling prophecy” that Kerwin writes about.
I am surprised that some countries show interest in brand advertising over facebook; it seems as if this correlates to new facebook users, but even when I was new I was never interested in “friending” companies and purposefully submitting myself to spam. Being a social media rep for a company is hard and they will always walk a thin line between being a friend and being an annoyance. The only advice I can give is to be personable, and to give the consumer a reason to continue being your friend such as coupons, freebies, or exclusive sneek peaks at your next product.

 

http://adage.com/article/special-report-social-media-guide/fans-friend-brand-facebook/229824/

 

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