Relationships offline have strong ties, their values measured with 4 elements:
- Time to nuture and build
- Intensity required to emotionally nuture
- Trust needed to develop the transparency required
- Reciprocity of services to balance value
Time and Intensity are costly resources which cost hard dollars to execute correctly. It was found that Facebook ties with brands are very weak vs. interpersonal relationships we may have developed offline with customers since the ties are not personal.
For example, customers find many fan pages on Facebook, where they all compete for attention and loyalty.
Latest IDC data shows that a backlash against brands is happening with these statistics:
- 91% have abandoned at least one brand on Facebook, email or Twitter.
41% have “unfollowed” a company on Twitter.
81%have either unlikedor removed company posts from their Facebook feed.
71% report being more selective about “liking” a company on Facebook.
What is happening is that consumers are more interested in the peer value of their personal networks that what brands want them to think and do. The issue is Trust Filtering which is driving brand managers to look at social gains vs. costs.
Looking at metrics first is key to improving social strategy success. The use of branded communities helps bridge the gap by allowing deeper levels of engagement with consumers who are not in their primary or private personal networks. People are searching and looking for information and insights which are then typically not found in personal networks, but thrive in areas of interest like hobbies, passions, preferences in a contained channel that have no previous realtionship ties.
These new ties are built around the strengths of the trust inherent in peer to peer networks-those of true communities. These are not Fans on Facebook.
I hope that the difference is now clear.
Developing communities of interest requires strategic plans based on your living brand planning cycle. Newer technologies enable strategies to be developed to find and engage customers and prospects with curated content (and video), sort them with relevant preferences by tribe (or ethnicity for example) and develop new ways to provide products and services that meet implicit requirements.
This shouldn't be about pushing out coupons on Facebook and counting click to sale ratios. Social Loyalty is much deeper than customer satisfaction metrics in a survey. Loyalty is earned because we must remember that customers act when, where and how they choose and most importantly-on thier own terms.
Anyone interested in looking at the 3 Tiers of Social Eminence we created for Airlines and Airports in the Passenger Experience-drop me a note. The model is a framework that any business can look at-beyond the Facebook trendiness.