Part II:Â Good Friends Treat You Well
This past weekend I was in the wedding of a good friend.Â On her wedding day, she took a moment to thank each of her bridesmaids with little gold necklaces, each containing different charms reflective of our individual personalities.Â It was perfectly representative of what makes this particular person such a good friend:Â she treats those that she cares about well â€“ in particular, through her thoughtfulness and generosity.
In social media, these same hallmark characteristics of being a â€śgood friendâ€ť hold true.Â Brands that outwardly exhibit these traits seem to make more friends, attract more friends, keep more friends.Â Some examples of how brands can successfully activate behind these principlesâ€¦
Give you presents: Starbucks frequently runs giveaways and discounts. Â Regardless of where theyâ€™re originally hosted (i.e., via Living Social, their homepage, etc.), the brand always keeps Facebook and Twitter fans in the loop.
Make you things: Old Spice gives fans special content, like short films, screen savers, and clever images.
Treat you â€śspecialâ€ť: The Daily Show makes a point of providing its Facebook page fans content they canâ€™t get anywhere else, like extended interviews and special segments.
Go out of their way for you: When one fan expressed his longing for a Morton’s steak via Twitter, the brand came through with a special steak delivery (from a tuxedoed waiter, no less) to the Newark airport. Â Occasionally going above and beyond goes a long way.
Tell their other friends how great you are: Dunkin’ Donuts features a different fan on its Facebook page each week.Â The winners are always featured on the brandâ€™s billboard in Times Square.
Seek out (and care about) your advice: During the payroll tax debates, Obama and team asked constituents to tell them what a $40 cut in taxes would mean to them.Â Responses, received via Twitter, Facebook, and The White House Web site, were overwhelming enough to help the White House win an extension on the tax cut.
Sounds relatively straightforward.Â But even good friends make little mistakes and exhibit bad judgment or offensive behavior at times.Â In real life, you can usually patch things up relatively easily.Â When youâ€™re communicating with the world at large, itâ€™s not so simple.Â So here are some things you may consider NOT doing when it comes to SM:
Stepping over the line:Â Belvedere Vodka posted this gem on its Facebook page and was quickly inundated by posts and Tweets from outraged fans and observers â€“ and that news traveled into the media fast.
Ignoring your friends: Chapstick posted this ad, which didnâ€™t go down so well (shocking, I know) with the ladies â€“ who reacted vehemently.Â But instead of taking constructive next steps, Chapstick simply deleted all the posts.Â Which only made its fans angrierâ€¦
Being generally inconsiderate:Â Too many examples here to include.Â Sometimes brands simply donâ€™t think about the broader context and implications of their actions.Â A good general rule of thumb:Â before you send a communication out into the SM world, think about how your real friends would react.Â If thereâ€™s potential for hurt feelings â€“ abort.
Activating behind social media is daunting.Â Itâ€™s daunting because itâ€™s still relatively new, because it has no established rules, because it can feel more uninhibited and flexible.Â But if you think about all those millions of people out there that youâ€™re communicating with as potential friends, and reflect on how you treat your close friends, you should be starting yourself out in the right direction.
Sara Linderman, StrategistTweet this | Tags: brand, conversation, daily show, dunkin' donuts, friendship, morton's, Obama, old spice, social media, Starbucks, success