May 18, 2010

Earning Social Currency

Posted by 2Checkout

Ben Paynter has an article at Fast Company about the difference between having a popular brand, and having fans of your brand. Does having a large number of Facebook or Twitter followers mean you are using social media in a way that encourages your customers to recommend you and your products to their friends?

“A new study by Vivaldi Partners and Lightspeed Research, which fielded the data, examines more than 60 companies and assesses customers’ brand affiliations, advocacy, and sense of community, among other factors, for how they create true value for the companies, no matter whether it’s online or off. The results reveal some surprising insights about the limits of social media. Most notably, smug, stunt-driven apps, games, and videos generate buzz but little else. So what does work? We combed through Vivaldi’s data to find the most intriguing lessons. Here are the new rules for the game.”

The article lists five valuable comparisons of two different businesses’ use of social media. The “Five Steps for Consumer Brands to Earn Social Currency” are:

  1. Advocates Trump Followers
  2. Context Matters
  3. Not Every Brand Should be Social
  4. Social Tools are a Means, Not an End
  5. Gimmicks Marginalize Trust

The message here is to be clever and genuine in your marketing. While a video, a game, or a flashy advertising campaign may get attention, what you convey once you have that attention can convert followers into fans.