Don't infringe on my Social Space

Posted on 30th May 2012 by Scott Goodson in Blog

Social media….the clue’s in the name. It’s a place where we chat, discuss, share, vent…a virtual gathering where we openly talk to people we largely don’t know, will never meet and probably don’t share much in common with – expect our purpose for being amongst that community at the time.

Because it’s that shared passion and shared interest which makes us gravitate towards certain forums, groups, people on Twitter….we seek out and ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ those who like what we do, finding places where we can indulge ourselves free of judgement because we’re amongst like-minded people.

So how do brands manage to sneak through and infiltrate this sacred social space? Apparently in our online world of virtual networks, the last thing we want is to be pestered by brands and companies. At least that’s according to TNS’ latest Digital Life survey. It says 60 per cent of US consumers who use social networks don’t actually want to be bothered by companies and organizations.

But yet…at the same time 45 per cent of us apparently say that social media is a good place to find out about brands. It’s where they tell us their ‘exclusive’ deals just for us, because we’re a ‘fan’ after all and that means preferential treatment, right? Sure it does – it’s why 65 per cent of us only join brand communities to get coupons and deals.

Interestingly according to TNS, 50 per cent of us are influenced by what we read about brands too. Just one single negative review apparently affects our brand-buying decisions. No wonder brands police social networks so strongly.

But that’s the problem – in our networks we can say what we like. It’s there, in black and white and full glorious colour, for everyone to read. We don’t have to be spoon-fed constructed adverts and messages from brands as we see daily in our newspapers and magazines. We make up our own minds – brands have no control at all.

But there is some good news. Friedman says 45 per cent of us actually join brand communities to express our passion for a brand, and most of us (61%) who take the time to actually write about a brand on social media do so to say how much we like it.

So yes, social media may be a space where we may always have our eyes on the prize, where we have incredible power to influence what others buy….where we’re happy to hear from brands but only on our terms....but best of all it’s where we can truly come together to celebrate what we love and like. And even what we don’t. 45 per cent of us are still choosing social media as our venue to vent about what we don’t like about a brand.

Whatever your motive, you can be sure brands are listening and watching your every social move. The challenge now is for them to successfully influence what we do say and how we feel – without them trying to control our opinions. How to do this? Get in on the conversation….join in….via the magic of a Movement.

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