Facebook – the big brand arena

“Overwhelming majority of big US brands are on Facebook

by Dan Leahul, Brand Republic 10-Aug-09, 09:15

Having worked for many major US brands, I find this article fascinating. For me,  Facebook is a powerful tool for brands and as the above article states many major brands are having incredible success – but it can also be a dangerous pool to swim in as brands equally expose themselves to attack. To really engage with a brand’s audience via social media means relinquishing a great deal of control – not something that comes naturally to many established US brands, in my experience.

Key to success through social media is to understand that it is not about communication… it is about conversations. It is as important (if not more so) to listen as well as talk. If customers, employees or others are saying bad things about your brand, listen, be honest, and if there is some foundation… take action. If you are conducting your business in an honest and ethical manner there there should be minimal scope for brand damage – the good should outweigh the bad.

That so many major US brands should have been prepared to relinquish a good measure of control is a pointer for us all. I find that it is often lesser brands who are more paranoid about what they see as the anarchic nature of social internet. Paradoxically, it is also for these brands that it presents some of the most cost effective opportunities.

Ultimately, it is about brand confidence: if you believe in your brand get out their and talk about it. Engage in those conversations… and above all listen! At the very least it will save you a shedload of money on focus groups.

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