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August 15, 2011


Jay Ehret

Love the framework for a social brand, John. But really, this goes beyond social media, doesn't it? Your social brand is an extension of the brand experience. The social experience of a brand should match the brand in real life. It's brand continuity.

Ian Sohn

Ah, now I get the quick comment on my post over on the Ogilvy blog. Two very interrelated topics.

I wonder if it's worth adding "A Face" to your bulleted list of what a brand needs to determine when developing its brand voice.

By Face I mean a person. An actual person, with a name and everything. We've seen study after study over the years about customers reacting to this tactic. Though the huge risk is that the person becomes bigger than the brand; and when they leave the company they take their fans with them.


Overall, good post, John.

Ian, have you ever followed Comcast or eBay motors? Both of these brands have been praised for their social media response and they both allow their social media response teams to use their own persona when responding to consumers/customers.

For Comcast, they use their "real" names and frequently intermix personal tweets with business tweets (i.e. "I am signing off for the night" or "I have big weekend plans"). While it certainly adds that personal touch and show that the tweets are not made by bots looking for keywords, as a consumer, I don't really care about the person who is responding. I don't want a relationship.

When people follow brands, it is usually because 1) they got something when they followed the brand (a sweepstakes entry or an offer), 2) they have a problem and didn't want to seek out traditional channels for resolution or 3) the content the brand offers is valuable (tips, information, helpful videos, etc).

In any of these cases, they want content on their terms. They don't want a relationship with the individual representing the brand and likely doesn't even want a relationship with the brand itself beyond what they want to get back from the brand.

We absolutely recommend to our clients that brands display their "brand personality". While the individuals responding and posting should have fun, it should be within the limits of what people expect from the brand.

No matter the medium, the brand should be the star - not the individual.

Just our opinion.

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