Check out the following article from Forbes on how the efforts to monetize social media is impacting the original utility. Will Marketing Muck Up Social Media? – Forbes. Argus Insights wrapped up a project with Butler Stern, Shine and Partners were we did an audit of the Social Capital inherent in several well known brands, including Wendy’s, Old Spice, Pepsi, Heinz Ketchup and others. You can see our presentation on YouTube.
The results were fascinating from the point of view of how the brands were engaging with the public using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. For the most part, brands acted like that slacker in your high school America History class that regaled the room with his armpit rendition of the William Tell Overture, that is to say, they attract a lot of attention by doing something outlandish that has nothing to do with what consumers are focused on at the time and quickly fade to the black as the class gets back to what they were doing.
The brands that found resonance with the market were those that actually took the time to engage in the conversation, to dip their toe in while asking permission rather than cannon balling into the discussion. Consumers want to engage with brands as people, with authenticity, not be shouted out from the rafters. We often cite the Minority Report as the inspiration of the gestural interfaces we are using today but rarely mention the hellish vision of targeted ads screaming out to us at every turn. Is this where brands want to take us?
The question is, how to you measure that authenticity of engagement? What’s the ROI from a long term relationship? Those are the questions that Argus Insights is collaborating with BSSP and others to answer. Let’s together move beyond the easy to count “likes” and “retweets,” the blast radius of our splash into the pool and instead focus on authentic relationships where the consumer and brands are equal and engaged players.