The power of the consumers in social media can be deceiving. According to Taylor Ellwood, only consumers with large lists of followers can be actually influential. It is a really straight forward and natural assumption, but it presents quite an interesting opportunity for the brands working in social media.
Why? Brands and people related to big brands (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Seth Godin) usually attract the biggest crowds of followers on social media properties. These social accounts have indisputably greater social influence than normal personal accounts.
As a result they can be used as an opposition to consumer power (sometimes anarchy) on the social networks or other social media properties. .
Social brands network
Is it possible that brands will connect to networks in order to help each other to face growing consumers power on social networks? Yes, it is.
I love the idea of the consumer empowerment by social media, but I think there has to be a balance in communication power between brand and consumer.
The unintentional silly mistakes by brands can not be exaggerated by consumers to that level it sometimes is and should have an opportunity to be managed better. The appearance of strategic partnerships between brands could be one of the ways to solve this problem.
Let me first define what I call the Social Brands Network:
It is a strategic partnership between network of brands or personal brands working in overlapping industries (related services, but not direct competitors) united by goal to share each others social channels during communication crisis or promotion in order to increase the reach and influence of the message.
A Social Brands Network could serve as a tool to battle consumer anarchy or amplify promotional messages when brand needs that extra power of influence to deliver its messages faster to a broader audience.
Strategic partnerships are successfully applied in offline and online worlds. Therefore, there is no reason why social channels should be an exception. The faster your brand will build this Social Brands Network the more likely it will gain a competitive advantage over competitors.
I’m really interested to hear your thoughts about this idea!