Why brands are friendly on social media

Ian Bogost discusses the style, tone and “methods of engagement” used by #brands to surprise and befriend you, the potentially influential follower.

This resonated strongly with me—I’ve worked in several offices where people really wanted the social channels to talk in Innocent-ese or jump on the back of whatever the John Lewis ad was that year or surprise followers with “random acts of kindness” (which of course were neither random nor kind).

It’s a bit gross, horribly transparent once you start to notice it, and of course it works. So it will continue forever.

Social media has made it easier than ever for companies to connect with people. These new, personal bonds between companies and customers feel uncanny—the brands are not real human friends, exactly, but neither are they faceless corporations anymore. Isn’t that the point, though? Branding’s purpose is to get under your skin, to make you remember an otherwise forgettable company or product. When the surprise wanes, that feels a lot less delightful.

Source: Why Brands Are Friendly on Social Media – The Atlantic

Author: Matthew Culnane

Sometime social and UX person working in education. Interested in food, books, music, others. Working out how it all works.