While brands have spent the past few weeks scrambling to secure their company or product names on Facebook, some negative news around the impact of custom pages was released by WorkPlace Media today. The survey cites that 96% of online users said their opinion of a product brand did not change if that brand had no presence on a social networking site, only 11% of social networking users reported following any major brand through a social networking site.
However, before you dismiss social networking altogether – don’t forget there is something much more powerful happening on these pages aside from people “becoming a fan” or downloading an app for your brand or service. In fact the central thing that has driven adoption of social media – connecting with friends and family – is also what’s going to make the channel pay off commercially.
I’m still waiting to see the proper advent of digitized social shopping. That is the ability for e-commerce buyers to converse with friends and virtually shop together. The closest thing we have today is the activity that takes place on social networks – when people chat about life decisions, share photos of favorite outfits — it’s always going to be more powerful done on an individual basis than with a cooperation.
Take a look ay DMNews’ Kevin McKeefery’s recent look at successful blog marketing and you’ll find the same theme: people follow individual personalities that they like for the entertainment or informational value that they give them – not for the affiliation with a particular company.