With all the interest in digital media, it's tempting to want to jump on the bandwagon and launch company initiatives that use this media. But will a Facebook page or a Twitter feed attract a loyal band of followers to your company?
That depends. According to a 2009 study by Razorfish, companies that attract a following are offering more than standard brand messaging. Consumers are following brands on Twitter because they want deals—not just dialogue. Starbucks' 5 million Facebook friends are lured with coupons for free pastries and ice cream. The 1.5 million who follow Whole Foods tweets get weekly specials.
Twitter works as a medium designed to send time-sensitive messages of value to consumers. It's well suited to retail sales, but its role is less clear in the service sector, where the buy cycle is unrelated to sales or give-aways. We're not ruling out its use in service industries, but we will be watching with interest to see how it plays out.
The full report is insightful and worth the read. You can find it here.