I remember as a child I hated being told who to be friendly with. Making friends, or socialising with people you have something in common with, should be led by natural instinct. And, in my opinion, social media networks need to mirror the real world, as much as possible. So when I hear, needless to say on Twitter, that the bank, First Direct, has created a platform where their customers can ‘share recommendations’ from a holiday in Turkey to an emergency plumber, I shake my head in disbelief.
How many social networks do we honestly need? Surely our voices don’t need to be amplified on multi-platforms to feel like we are being heard? And, is a niche network or a bespoke forum hosted by your favourite FMCG brand really going to cut the mustard? I know that the cynic in me would be wondering how much of an investment this futile site had cost the brand, both in terms of build and ongoing customer hosting.
Rant over. There is of course the other side of the coin, where a dedicated social platform works brilliantly. Where there is passion, there is an automatic, magnetic online gathering. Fans seem to be flocking to Fulham FC’s virtual Craven Cottage Stadium and, from what they tell me, it doesn’t feel spooky at all.
To sum up, my real life illustration of this point would be the bus stop. Just because you are waiting for the same bus with the other five random people, you don’t feel any urge to socialise with them. Well, it’s the same online.
social media thoughts from the evolv grotto: www.evolvdigital.com