If you have a brand, you have an army.

Our various forays into actually using social media on behalf of clients has taught us all some interesting lessons.

Here’s one that I noticed.

Social media is great for corralling your brand fanatics into one place and interacting with them.

This might be blindingly obvious but here’s why it’s great in reality.

If you have a national brand you have some super fans. People for whom your brand has a special place in your heart. Sometimes for reasons you might not want to know! But they love you and they have energy.

They’re the ones that tell others about you.

So now you have the means to organize these people and focus and harness their energy.

All the Brillo Pad freaks now have a place to adhere to that brand in a very direct way. Something they’ve always wanted to do anyway. “Soap and metal filings are so fucking cool together man!” “Fuck yeah! Andy Warhol totally knew what was up.”

The question then becomes how do you recruit the biggest possible army for your brand. Because that’s something that social media allows you to do.

You just have to put out things that are shiny objects that will attract the brand nuts.

And once you have recruited them you can suggest things they might do.

You can use them for good or for bad.

Just don’t invade Poland!

7 responses to “If you have a brand, you have an army.

  1. I agree Vinny. While I don’t see Social Media having an impact on sales for national and global brands (except the rare weird happenstance and Apple who has an army of bloggers) there is no valid reason not to take advantage of your core fanatics. If I have a $20bil a year company and it costs me $1mil to make an extra $10mil using social media…principles of Finance say make the investment since it is a positive return. I think the fallacy is when big brand marketers are conned into this join the conversation thing. Its great to listen and learn. But imagine if 100,000 call out your brand on twitter or your facebook page everyday. Its white noise no way you can respond or make them feel valued. But a free Denny’s breakfast after the superbowl can help! 8)

  2. i agree with your agreement howie. the vast majority of people are too busy/whatever to interact with your brand. but the 100K aficionados? they’re game for anything. turn them into a legion and invade Monaco!

  3. while it’s true your fans are your best promotors, the power of social media is vastly exaggerated.
    yes, it gives you better connectivity between your fans but it doesn’t increase their INFLUENCE – specially outside of this “I’m-a-hardcore-fan-of this-brand” clique.
    this is the key difference that most marketers don’t understand.
    so basically with social media you’re just convincing the convinced.
    which is nothing but a digitalized version of everyday life.

  4. Riki, i don’t think i was overstating the power of social media. I leave that to the social media gurus who never actually work with the medium ;-)

    I was just observing, from experience, that SM is really good at concentrating the brand nuts and giving them something to do. They have the love and the energy. so you might as well use it.

  5. yeah, I got that. I was talking in general.
    but you’re right that brand nuts can now have their own little playground that transcends time and geography. they’ll be forever grateful if you give them something funny to do or even involve them into your processes (btw, we’re now planning to ask fans to provide their ideas for how to use very boring product in new ways; we’ll see how it’ll go).

    problem is that better connectivity doesn’t change much.
    there’s a great book on the subject of social networks I’m currently reading: http://www.amazon.com/Connected-Surprising-Networks-Friends-Everything/dp/0316036137/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311089238&sr=1-1
    if you haven’t read it yet, I really recommend it.
    although authors admit it’s totally new and vastly unresearched subject, it’s full of fascinating facts.
    for someone who works in advertising an essential source of how emotion, information and rituals travel through society. and it reads smoothly.

  6. thanks for the book recommend man. i shall read it. you know, it’s the old thing. man has evolved over many thousands of years, the internet is still only the internet. it’s just that we happen to be the generation that has to process it all. lucky us!

  7. this is TED talk of one of the authors:

    just a quick glimpse into a book to judge for yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s