Social media is a medium meant for people to people, and brand is indeed a third wheel, says Mark Ritson from his recent presentation.
You can watch his presentation here.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, Social Media simply means “websites and application that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.“
People socialize, have conversation, and interact with others through Social Media. Facebook and Twitter simply are just mediums or platforms of social networking itself. Brands on the other hand, are third wheels – I should agree with Prof. Ritson. Though, brands are pretty good third wheels, I would say. Brands actually are trying to blend in with the conversation that people have. In fact, sometimes they are the ones who started and created the conversation.
Let’s put it this way- people talk, right? I mean, everybody talks about everything they think worth talking about. It’s the power of WoM (Word of Mouth). Social Media has obviously replaced phone conversations and face-to-face conversations, so the WoM can also be applied in Social Media. Many of us now might have used the “Share” button on Facebook at least once after we watch a cute puppy video.
Prof. Ritson has a good point about how biased people can be with Social Media, because it’s like the “trend.” He also mentions how pointless it is for Marketers to invest on Social Media because data has shown they’re not getting the return they want, and Marketers don’t want to admit it.
What about small businesses or startup companies, and all the small marketers? They don’t have the marketing budget like Budweiser does to make a 60-second TV commercial to be aired on Super Bowl. That’s why they start from Social Media; they use Word of Mouth to get people talking, to get the conversation going. And hey, it actually works. This is what people call content marketing.
In Social Media, brands should try harder to connect with people by creating meaningful contents that people care about. They should create interesting stories and videos for people to talk about and share with their friends. We have reached the point that there are too many brands, and now people really don’t care about the ones who talk about themselves over and over. It’s not about how awesome the brands are, but it’s about how the brand could be a solution for our problems, to make our lives easier.
It is true that brands are not meant to be in Social Media, because Social Media is for people to socialize. Despite that, I think brands could be pretty cool third wheels, and the ones who can blend in the most will survive.