Brands are supposed to entertain people on social media ?

I know budgets are tight and getting money for market research is sometimes hard, but a post called “Deals and Discounts Dethroned as Reasons to Follow Brands” is at worst misleading and at best just a glimpse into consumer social media behavior.  Overall, social network users have different reasons for why they “like” or follow brands online. But, in addition to stated reasons, like receiving deals and discounts, they demonstrate that they also want to be entertained by brands. Marketers, whether they work for an entertainment-related brand or not, can use this knowledge when planning what content to post on social sites. Imagine a marketing executive saying that he wanted to create a facebook page to “entertain” customers. 

Imagine a marketing executive saying that he wanted to create a facebook page to “entertain” customers.  My guess is he would be shown the door rather quickly as brands that entertain don’t necessarily lead to brands that wind up in shopping carts.  The idea that people want to be “entertained” by brands on social media is nothing short of laughable at a time when so many marketers are trying to understand exactly what the ROI for social media.

In the same week Twitter has been forced to apologize  for prioritizing commercial gain over its users, a new study has found businesses are reducing their investment in social media marketing.  When it comes to spending on social media, marketing budget-holders are left wondering about the benefits, and many are simply putting spending on hold until they have developed a clearer picture of how social media can be harnessed to improve their brands.”

Brands love talking about how many followers they have on Twitter, and how many ‘likes’ their company page has on Facebook, but there is usually silence when it comes them explaining what they can do with this army of fans which actually translates into cash. Simply put, they don’t know and to suggest now that brands entertain people via social media is, well, just plain dumb.

So how do we develop that customer relationship?

It comes down to trust. We build trust by being who we say we are, and leading with our values, mission, and sense of purpose. A ‘like’ gives us another chance to converse; a relationship develops when chemistry based on shared values emerges. We can’t connect with people or organizations that hide behind jargon, information overload and me-too tactics that short-change the romance and move to a ‘rational’ information-based relationship.

Great marketers that successfully romance customers clearly communicate their brand philosophy and higher purpose.

I’m sorry, but suggesting that brands become entertainment companies is stupid.  I can stand on my head to entertain you, but are you really going to buy my product?  I doubt it…