Should Your Brand Be on Facebook? The One Question You Should Ask – The Tee-Shirt Test
It’s no secret that brands are rushing to Facebook to create pages to broadcast their message, establish “friendships” with customers, and leverage the platform’s functionality to execute savvy campaigns. Many brands and celebrities have used Facebook very well, but does their success mean that your brand will be able to replicate it?
Most brands are sophisticated enough now to ask the obvious strategic questions around business objectives. Many also know to study the customer problems that their looking to Social Media to solve.
But, as a tool to execute Business Objectives, Facebook is different than other Social Media tools. The reason for this is the intensely personal nature of relationships on Facebook.
As compared to Twitter, blogs, forums, or other Social Media tools, relationships are closer and generally confined to family, friends, and trusted work colleagues.
Activity, assocationas, and content added by Facebook users is much more deliberate than other sites. As a result, people are very careful about being a “Fan” of a brand.
People don’t become a Fan of a brand they like; they typically fan a brand has that makes them look “cool” in front of their friends.
“Would A Person Wear a Tee-Shirt with My Brand On It?”
Throughout human history, clothes and fashion have been used to communicate summary-size bites of information to other people. Rightly or wrongly, we look at what others are wearing and pass judgement, develop opinions, and summize a person.
This same principle applies on Facebook. I choose to be fans of brands just as carefully as I choose what Favorite Music, Quotes, and Movies to select. They can communicate information to others about who I am quickly and clearly.
Because people use their Facebook profile to shape their perception in a network, brands that can’t offer a customer “cool points” are likely to not gain followers. People want to fan Apple, because Apple is cool. Adding Apple to your profile is like wearing an Apple t-shirt, we know what types of people use Apple.
- Say you manufacture kitchen appliances. A good Social Media Strategy would be to increase usage and affinity for your product through content like recipes, tips/tricks, and service/support that can be improved by a loyal community.
- Using Facebook to execute this strategy and distribute this content might be difficult. Sure, there are likely some rabid fans of your product….but would a typical customer wear your brand on their clothing? Compared to Apple?
Of course, you could throw money at a Facebook campaign to increase followers…but the ROI is likely lower. Consider a blog/forum community site. Consider using Twitter to promote that site. Consider an iPhone app targeted to connecting loyalists together.
Here’s who I fan on Facebook:
I’m a Social Media Marketer’s dream. I love Facebook, I love experimenting with it to learn more…But look at who I fan. It’s stuff that speaks about me to my friends. I do this as much because I care about association as I do because I care about the updates.
Happy to remove any photos, please email me or comment. I am using photos simply to comment on the world around us.