Riffing On Brands Being Human. And Whatnot.
Note: this entire exercise was spurred on by a lazy Sunday login to Facebook. There is no intention to classify any of the below brands as “good” or “bad” in the social media space. (All views are my own - thus the name of the blog being “My Digital Soapbox.”)
Since that’s out of the way - take a look at some of what greeted me when I logged in to Facebook today:
Are the above examples ways for brands to build meaningful relationships with consumers in a digital world? The simplicity certainly drives people to click like, share and possibly comment… But maybe building a relationship that is contingent upon and quantified by likes/shares/comments isn’t really building a relationship at all. This might not be how those brands ALWAYS engage, but it is generally accepted that the “simple CTA” drives engagement on Facebook. And it does - based on Facebook metrics.
But is it possible for brands to have RELATIONSHIPS with human beings? I’m betting yes, although it will take a lot of learning from the brands that try to build authentic relationships around passion points. It will also take patience when the “counting stats” aren’t there.
This update from Petsmart might not be getting great engagement, but it is shows a bit of promise (even if it ends up falling a bit short):
The post clearly targets a niche audience that likes to dress up their pet. I’m assuming that niche audience of hardcore pet owners is somehow lucrative in the Petsmart business and driving to Pinterest is a great way to connect them socially.
Unfortunately, it ultimately fails, because it gets too complicated. Driving offsite from Facebook is a always a bit tricky, and in this case, seems to have been bungled a bit. Petsmart appears to have created a hashtag on Pinterest, but when clicking on that hashtag, there aren’t any results:
In this case, they would have been better off just promoting the boards that already exist on Petsmart’s Pinterest page and using the Facebook post to drive an intended engagement on Pinterest. As constructed now, I’m confused about what to do next.
And their boards on Pinterest are WAY too sales-ey:
If you’re managing a branded social channel, just remember to keep it human.
Now, things are going to get a LITTLE bit self-serving, so stop reading if you don’t want to read about a similar Facebook engagement, but by a brand that I’m working with.