There is so much wrong with this statement I don’t know where to begin. In thinking about another social panel, part of the descriptor is “On this panel, social executives discuss what tactics to use to quiet consumers who are out of bounds – and how to determine when it’s possible to ignore them entirely.” Certainly made me chuckle. Maybe an ESPN slick styling diss will shut them up? Maybe we can dump information and nerd bore them to death? Maybe we can take a Thug Life approach and be a bad ass with a smack down? Maybe we should issue a statement supporting ourselves? Maybe we can talk about something else? Maybe we wish that none of this was happening?
FIND THIS ON THE SOCIAL MAP Why would you want to quiet anyone when you can turn the conversation to one that helps you? Conversation is currency. Conversations relevant to the value you provide are hard to come by. We want to take advantage of every conversation that might help a brand. People are not consumers anymore if they are talking; they are actually producing content not consuming it. Calling people consumers reinforces push strategies that are not effective socially. Changing how we think about people in our business makes building healthy relationships easier. Lastly, who is to say where the boundary is? The map is still being charted. Our best strategy is to remember that you can’t buy healthy relationships, you can’t start and stop them at your whim, you cannot takeover, target nor conquer a relationship.
EARNED SOCIAL TO THE RESCUE Last week I wrote that you could not buy healthy relationships. The key word is “healthy”. Healthy relationships for a brand in social is trust translated to behavior where people have your back and your front. They are your front man promoting you to friends and strangers alike. They are watching your back, defending the snipers online that want to shoot you down. Imagine your core customers as an extension of you in the social marketplace. If you want this kind of behavior, you have to change your approach. Imagine you inviting people to get closer to you, giving them opportunities to become a part of your brands life, always building relationships, always creating credibility and connecting… sticking with this not as a campaign but as a way of doing business.
LET PEOPLE PROVIDE YOUR EMOTION A brand can provide a part of the social map but it also needs real people to support them publicly. It is your supporters who will police the community to box out and start a fast break off the bad boys. It is your supporters who respect and trust you who have the credibility to defend you. Let the people provide the emotion for you. People sharing how they feel, and how they see the world will embrace you and take you with them. Brands can catalyze healthy emotional relationships by being where people are, by putting yourself in the middle of what they care about and using social tools in harmony that earn respect and help people.