The force is a power that surrounds everyone, is present everywhere but can be wielded by a few to influence the greater majority. That is fiction, and arguably the closest real-world version of the force is social media. It surrounds everyone, but only a few truly command it and can influence people with it.
The question we need to ask ourselves, can a brand use the force as well as famous social media personalities?
The short answer is yes.
The long answer begins with a no.
Brands cannot be as influential as people on social media, mainly because they are not living breathing physical beings with a unique personality having their own view of the world and an ability to communicate it.
A brand’s primary objective is to give value to products and sell them, social media is just
another way for them to communicate their message. If brands use social media just as any other medium rather than the two-way communication channel that it is, they will never be able to influence people. People get annoyed with ads, they tune out when they see one, that is why adblocker exists. The key to using the force is two-way communication. Brands need to learn how to talk to and with communities rather than just talk to them.
Here are some brands that are doing the right thing: https://econsultancy.com/blog/68167-30-brands-with-excellent-social-media-strategies.
But this is only one side of the entire process. Once we get the ‘how to talk’ to the communities, we need to understand ‘how to build’ the communities. This is where the force and social media are different. Social media has made the world more connected, that is one of its primary jobs. The theory of six degrees of separation helps a brand reach far and beyond its imagination. The theory says that on an average any two random people are connected by just six steps. Here is a video explaining the concept: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcxZSmzPw8k
The advantage here is that most of our close online social network members are close members of our real-world social media networks. This means that there is an inherent trust in what people from our network tell us. When brands use people to carry forward their message, their networks trust the brand’s message and that is how brands use the force.
To sum up, I believe a brand can never have a large-scale online influence as big as a person, but they can get close by using said person to carry their message.
What do you think?
7 Comments on “The Force is Real!!!”
good opinion, i agree with you, the social media really has a strong power to influence us, for example, i think the social media entertain me, but recently, i find i cannot live with social media, so, in fact, it consume me
interesting title that got me to read the blog :). i think brand cannot be a large scale as a person but brand communities can i could be wrong but this is how i feel. for example HOG community.
Undoubtedly, Media personalities have a stronger character and influence over masses that’s why every major brand promotes through an iconic figure.
What concerns me is although 9/10 times this strategy would work, but by giving authority to personalities, their every move somehow has a chance to affect your brand’s reputation. I bet Tiger woods is a classic example of that.
I guess brands need to keep their key messages stronger than the personalities themselves in order to attract consistent community growth. Tricky to achieve, but definitely a way to pivot when things go down with individual personalities.
I completely agree to the fact that brand is build by a group of group. I also would wish to add on how coco cola invests a lot of time and efforts on building a common communication thread which is appealing to most of the target customers. They invest in people and the communication idea. Have a look at their campaign of “Open Happiness”. But overall great blog, looking forward to the next one!
Loving the Star Wars link.
Really drew my inner nerd in with the title.
However I disagree with you on the point the brands cannot have as big as an influence as a person.
In some cases a brands message if widely popular among masses can have a great impact on the indivuals and their behaviours.
If we look at any of the fake news stories which circulate online, we can see that these fake news brands manage to make us belive stories/tales which are completely untrue. In the other hand if an indivual had told us the same story, we would have a different view point about it completely.
Respect you opinion. A counter point is, what makes it popular/viral, it is not the brand per say, it os people from ones social network sharing it with them. The brand may affect an individual, he shares it we believe it because we trust that individual.
I liked the post! =)
But I disagree as well with your comment about brands not being influential as people. For instance, Frank Body is doing an excellent job in building their brand identity. they successfully built a unique brand voice and persona which is “Frank the Aussie laid back”. They did a of course benefited from influential beauty blogers when they first started, but what keeps customers connected is their brand identity.