Social Media Debate: Should Brands Educate or Entertain?

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Here are more reader responses to Brandchannel’s social media debate series, this one on crafting a brand’s social media voice and strategy. Tell us what you think by posting a comment, and follow our social media debate series by clicking here. And don’t miss the comments on the “That’s Debatable” social media series on Interbrand.com.

Entertain or educate
– which social media strategy is best?

“How about a blend of both? – entertaining and relevant content (to reach the proposed target groups). In terms of the proportions, the answer is in brand’s personality: the theme that suits the brand best should ‘weigh’ more than the other. This will also keep the brand message consistent and help integrate social media into an overall marketing campaign.” Nadya Tatarciuc, PR and new media analyst[more]

“To truly have an impact in the social media arena, brands and the companies who own and shepherd them would do well to consider another E-word instead: Engage. If they can truly engage their audiences by making their social communications relevant, interesting, and perhaps even thought-provoking, then brands will start to earn the right to be included in the social conversation.” Gunnar Loy, Executive Creative Director, Triibe

“Social media platforms are a good opportunity to educate consumers about the brand with the idea to offer a good brand experience. In the future it’s rather about experiencing brands compared to possessing brands. But I think that education can contain certain aspects of entertaining. For me it’s a combination of both directions.” Dr. Alexander Linder, Director CCMI, Swarovski

“If a brand fails to deliver the basics (which I see as providing helpful information/customer service and which falls more into the education camp) while seeking to entertain it can feel, at best, inappropriate. An example of this is Eurostar hosting a Facebook page for their ‘Little break, big difference’ campaign, then failing to respond swiftly and empathetically to consumer needs during their pre-Christmas disruptions. Admittedly Eurostar have learned from this experience but I think it’s a good example of why entertainment alone is not enough for brands in social media.” Christina Lemieux, Planning Director, Agency.com

“The key in education online is to make sure that it matches what’s going on offline, including how (brand) personnel are also being kept up to date. On the entertainment side, social media provides new and unique ways to create experiences. The theme and the cohesion with the brand values are critical ingredients for success.” Minter Dial, President/Founder, The Myndset Company

“A lot of research has to go into creation of messages that reach out to a considerable audience without losing out on personalization. Brands eventually need to talk to people as individuals – not as a faceless mass of human beings.” Arun Panangatt, Manager – Market Intelligence, Dubai Properties Group

View more reader responses

Follow our social media debate series by clicking here. And don’t miss the comments on the “That’s Debatable” social media series on Interbrand.com.

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