Feb 03, 2009

Do companies need to faciliate a new social bond? In a recent Engaging Brand podcast interview on Nice Capitalism we discussed the changing role of companies - that thought keeps churning round in my head. Over time the social bonds that glued societies have become "unstuck". For example, companies had a paternal role to employees, church was a mainstay of belief and community, locality and family were important. Many of these social bonds are either breaking down and becoming less significant in many people's lives. At the same time the internet is growing in importance. I don't live near my family and friends and almost feel location unknown, in fact if someone asked me where I lived then the truth would be "The Internet, stupid!" The internet for me is like a shopping mall, you can grab a natter over a coffee (Twitter), you can shop, you can read books or educate yourself, you can be with people, you can even hide from the problems at home! My social bonds are interwoven with the internet and I am sure that I am not alone on that. Here is a radical thought...what if companies forgot about social media as a marketing tool and saw it more as a way of creating social bonds ? Again many will say it is a subtle difference but it is core in my mind. The power in social media is in the social element which needs a personality to shine through....It is also a far different mindset for companies to think about creating social bonds than to think about clickthrough rates?

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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