December 30th, 2011

I see so many brands nowadays that use the ‘find us on Facebook‘ or ‘follow us on Twitter‘ as their call to action on their advertising/marketing activity. The question that immediately springs to my mind when I see any brand doing this is ‘why?’. Why should I ‘find you on Facebook’? Why should I ‘follow you on Twitter’? What’s the point? What’s in it for me?
It absolutely amazes me that brands seem to think that people will connect via a social network for no reason other than just because you can (yes, I know that there are some brands out there that people let into their social network because they want to be associated with that brand; we all use brands to help define who we are, or shape perception – lets assume here that I am talking about the 90% of brands that don’t carry that much in the way of lifestyle kudos points). For example, this evening whilst watching TV, Lemsip asked me to ‘find us on Facebook’ – why?! Honestly, what more can I find out about Lemsip by finding them on Facebook? How is my life improved by allowing Lemsip into my personal social network?
The thing is, when you think about it it’s not that hard to think of reasons why I might find it useful to allow Lemsip into my social networks. Perhaps, as someone suffering from a very annoying cold, at the Lemsip page I will find a community of people discussing all sorts of things to do with having a cold, flu etc; perhaps hints and tips of other things that might be useful to help me get rid of my pesky cold? Perhaps some things to do whilst I am laid up in bed; a game, quiz, film reviews? Perhaps there are some interesting ways to use the product? Etc. etc. The thing is, whatever is on there; make it relevant! Make it useful! Make it clear to me as a punter that by allowing your brand/product/service into my social networks that you aren’t going to use that as another opportunity to shove your product (or service) down my throat! Consequently, I might bond a bit more with you as a brand. I might even begin to form a bit more of an emotional connection with you (marketing gold for all us marketeers!).
And so, here is the key (or the point to my rant): People are still getting used to social networking, people assume that most businesses and/or brands are going to sell stuff at every opportunity – this puts them off allowing them into their personal networks. So, when you ask them to ‘find you on Facebook’ or ‘follow you on Twitter’ – explain the benefits, tell them you’re not going to shove your product down their throat, make it useful and relevant to them, in short…TELL THEM WHY!!