When social media becomes anti-social

Is social media actually anti-social?

This is what an article in Adweek was discussing as Brian Solis, a new media expert and principal of advisory firm Altimeter group, criticised social media’s befriending and popularising qualities. His argument was that if social media is carried out wrongly- think product announcement posts, little ‘fan’ engagement or trading tweets for freebies; fans will lose interest, unlike and ultimately defriend. Bad news for marketers who thought that social media was one magic wand, the modern solve-all to company problems.

I have to agree. I find Facebook pages done incorrectly frustrating- like giving a Ferrari to someone who can’t drive. The tools need to be used appropriately and viewing social media as a one-way channel to increase brand awareness just does not work. With $6 billion now injected into social media advertising budgets and many resorting to a mass media social strategy of throwing anything remotely engaging onto a Facebook wall, change is needed. As Brian asserts “if brands want to succeed in social environments, they need to embrace the spirit of collaboration and create valuable shared experiences”. That means getting the reader involved in something they find interesting, looking like the brand cares and will react to public opinion (positive or negative) and presenting a more human side to the brand. Only then do you have my attention.

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