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?