…but really, that’s hardly surprising. As a culture, what do we share? The Chicago Bears? Republican or Democratic politics? American Idol?
The simple truth is that one thing all Americans have in common, regardless of gender or age or race, is our firsthand knowledge of brands. Listen to the material of any stand up comic; chances are, nearly a third of it revolves around brand advertising and marketing messages because they act as a touchstone to help comedians connect with their audiences. Brands are opinions and though we might not always be informed, Americans always have opinions they are always willing to share.
But once again, this study from some researchers at Penn State raises an issue many advertisers would rather not address as it relates to their place within social networks. Yes people may be mentioning your brand by name on Twitter, but does that constitute a selling opportunity? Maybe the people involved are just connecting over common ground, a common opinion they hold. Perhaps they are using your brand to serve a social interaction. In that case, does it make sense to try to sell them?
Or does it make more sense to listen? And observe? And learn?
In this ecosystem, we’re best following the guidelines of the responsible naturalist: leave only footprints.