Friendship vs. Facebook – March 30, 2012

by admin on March 31st, 2012

Friendship vs. Facebook

When you read about “authenticity” and “engagement” in the context of social media, it’s probably a wise idea to keep an eye for a grain of salt to take with it. Of course, any organization –from the corner store to the multinational conglomerate– can create an appealing brand image through the products and service it offers. But there’s absolutely no data demonstrating that consumers are starting to consider these entities to be their friends. People may like fan pages on Facebook, review companies on Yelp, and pin up pictures online. But in real life, around the real water cooler, they’re talking about last night’s game or who got voted off their favorite show.

Facebook vs. Friendship

If you’re a social media nut like me, you can get impatient waiting even a few minutes to hear back from someone. Everywhere I go in New York City I see people wandering down streets and sidewalks in a texting frenzy. By contrast, my Mother just published a book about an ancestor, based on letters he wrote 150 years ago while in the Pacific Northwest, that sometimes took a year or more to get a reply. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty appreciative of my mobile company’s data network right now.

You Don’t Tweet

In my experience, most webinars achieve extremely low interactivity, so it didn’t bug me too much that this week my work team watched one on social PR that was pre-recorded. The most compelling nugget I got from it was that people are on Facebook because it’s the default place to go, not because they give a damn about social media. Whereas Twitter is a gathering place for communication-hungry nerds (like me) who’ll get their info anywhere. Lesson: you can mention Facebook on Twitter, but don’t mention Twitter on Facebook!

Mad Man
While my office is nothing like the set of Mad Men, this week one of my colleagues upstaged a dull, uninspired proposal I made by coming up with a truly brilliant suggestion for our public awareness campaign. Rather than my dumb posts and posters, she suggested having real patients share real photos of themselves and their loved ones, and then post them on social media with comments about why they wanted to live longer, healthier lives, and for whom. In a nutshell she captured what people do best (talking about their lives and people they love), and imagined a way to let them do it while helping our cause. [I can’t post a link until we launch it in May.]

2 Comments
  1. Markus Urquhart permalink

    By engagement I think most firms are talking about how to better understand their customers. You see this more and more with retailers. It happens that with some places you tweet them and get a coupon or special offer.

  2. Ellen Haskell permalink

    Regarding the last piece; social media makes the workplace more collaborative. I doubt your coworker sees you in competition. When people share ideas and there is synergy than you learn from each other and it’s more about getting the idea out there than who thought of what.,

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