Get Off My Social Property
Early in the afternoon I heard the clanking of bottles and a shrill voice yell, “Get off my property,” about five times, consecutively. I imagined it to be a homeless man scrounging for bottles in the garbage across the street and the homeowner whom he was taking from got a bit overzealous. It got the wheels turning about brands interaction with consumers in social communities.
Often times, fans of social sites consider it to be private property—free of sales and pitchmen (i.e. brands). When brands invade their private property, some yell just like the woman across the street. Most people don’t mind, however.
To avoid those outspoken opponents, consider if the homeless man were to take a different approach—one that was not so intrusive—he might find more success. Consider Target. Every year they donate X amount of dollars to several charities. To open the lines of communication with Facebook users, they asked them to allocate their charities dollars for them.
Their efforts paid off. They garnered significant traffic and brand mentions permeated the blogosphere. This is an effective way to approach social private property. Ask yourself what you can offer them before you ask what they can offer you.