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05/13/2011 Social Media really IS like high school

A recent report shows that luxury brands, while having Facebook pages, don’t engage people and for the most part act highly unresponsively. For these brands, Facebook is simply another broadcast channel. It’s not so much different than how the best looking girls in high school act toward the people around them. 

Think about it: luxury brands spend tons of money on glossy and classy print and TV ads. They’ve built up their brands with the help of impeccable stylists and image-makers. These brands focus on their looks with the promise of an “ultimate experience.”

And what they want is a lot of people who to aspire to be them, who long to be around them, and who simply want to associate with them that the hope that the brands’ beauty and coolness rub off on them. At least a little.

It’s the same behavior we saw with those beauties in high school. They didn’t have to be nice, smart, engaging or funny to have a gaggle of boys and girls tagging after them. The good-looking kids just needed to BE; it was enough to garner success. For some of the other kids, it was enough just to be seen in the company of or to exchange a few words with these high school stars.

The problem is that most brands and organizations look nothing like luxury brands or spectacularly looking people. Most brands are a little funny looking and quirky and mostly average when you get right down to it. Most brands haven’t spent a ton of money in traditional advertising glossing up their looks.

Like people in general, brands need to work on relationships to attract and keep people around. That applies to how they need to act in social media as well. I wonder if brand managers and marketers will look at that report and come to the conclusion that, since luxury brands ignore their customers in social media, other brands can do the same.

When it comes to brands and social media, most don’t look like luxury stars. They need to work on their personalities and looks, instead.



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