Define the (Social Media) Relationship


Here’s the thing about creating relationships with influencers – or with any customers for that matter: BOTH sides have to want the relationship. That’s just the way any healthy relationship works.

But we live in a day and age where the “professional influencers” are being chased by the love-sick brands like the middle-high school geek desperately wanting to be noticed by the most popular girl in the class (not that I know anything about that). No matter how much he dreams about it, plots about it, creates opportunities for it to happen or downright wants it, she has to want it too. Because one person wanting a relationship does not a relationship make.

And therein lies the rub with social. We see study after study that proves most people don’t want to have a deep, meaningful relationship with a brand. They want a discount. They want a freebie. They want. And they want more. It’s all take and no give. And then on this side, you have a mountain of brands pushing out marketing messages hoping to get a bite on a sale. Again, it’s all take and no give. Not exactly a healthy relationship, is it?

Now I don’t want to lead to you to believe that this is always the case. There are those loyal, passionate folks that DO want to have a deep, meaningful, long-lasting relationship with a brand. They want to learn all about them. To know their hopes and dreams. To know what ails them (and try and help fix it). And, of course, that will stand up for them no matter what. These are those rare advocates. And because they are rare, they need to be treated as such – but that’s another post for another time.

My point is this: let’s define the relationship first. There’s already so much clutter in the social media space now, do you really want to push out more of it to an audience who could are less? Look, DTR talks are hard. But the great thing is that at the end of it, you at least know where you stand, and the hard part is over.

Now the real work begins.



  • February 8, 2013


    Don’t kid yourself. Brands just want the sale. By “relationship” they mean repeat sale.

  • February 8, 2013


    Not customer service.

  • February 8, 2013


    Sure, brands want the sale. We can all agree on that. But that doesn’t mean brands can’t also have a parallel purpose. Something bigger than just sales- even something as simple as a dedication to customer service. If a brand has that, can convey it effectively and with a little passion and transparency, they’re going to capture the loyalty of a true advocate. We know the difference. Costco, Paul Newman foods, Ben & Jerry’s…

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