Fan, Friend or Follow? Connecting with Brands

Image from Hubspot

There is a sea change afoot. In case you hadn’t noticed, Facebook is revolutionizing the way the internet is experienced and interacted with. But, more importantly, I have recently become a “Fan” of my first brand on Facebook (that I don’t already manage). I know, I know, big whoop, right, everyone is a fan of “Letting the phone ring so the person doesn’t know you’re ignoring them” and “Lady GaGa.” Not me. I even went so far as to tell all my friends years ago, via status update, that I would not ever “Fan” or “Like” any of the crappy stuff they try to shove at me. Even Jesus. So you can see how this is a big deal for me. I consider myself a pretty savvy internetter, and I am particularly conscientious about the brands, products and organizations that I connect with and promote. (Again, probably a hangover from my teen years as a punk rocker, that whole “damn the man” kind of worldview.) So, who was the lucky recipient of my social connection? A library/museum.

To be exact, it was the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. And for entirely selfish reasons, not just because I want to support them (which I do) but because I want to be them. I want to do what they do – archives and non-circulating special collections – and so I figured what better way to get “in” with the professionals already working in the area I would someday like to work in than by stalking them, i.e. connecting with them on social media. So far I am really enjoying reading about their programming, via status updates and links posted, and they have no idea I exist. Yet. But! The connection is there.

Which brings me back to the point at hand; in the complicated culture of connectivity that we are experiencing, what is the real value of the “Fan, Friend or Follow” debacle? Does it matter to Chik-Fil-A if I “like” their page? Am I a more informed consumer if I follow American Apparel on Twitter? Sure, I like the #1 Value meal, and have my fair share of the Modern 50/50 Tee, but does my select group of inter-friends need to know that, or care? Does my virtual doppelganger have to reflect every little interest or activity I enjoy IRL (in real life)?

My decision to connect with The Morgan was, as I said, primarily a professional development step, at least that’s how I justified it to myself. My real issue is that I am starting to get a sense that the social media field is getting real crowded, real fast. Do I care to contribute to that?

What brands do you support on social media? Why? Am I being an internet curmudgeon by hoarding my “like” points?


One thought on “Fan, Friend or Follow? Connecting with Brands

  1. As you well know, I like sports. I found out a short time ago that instead of tracking the RSS feeds of blogs and searching the the Google news feed, message boards, etc. that by “liking” a sports team, such as the Tampa Bay Rays, I would receive those same updates through facebook that I would spend lots of time searching for.

    It is the same for “liking” PBS, NPR, and New Leaf Market. They are able to notify you of things that are going to happen without me spending hours watching television, listening to the radio, or running across town to New Leaf.

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