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Ask and it is answered: Companies and Social Networks - April 2009

Should a company build it's own social network or should it just join the ones out there that already exist?

I think many companies will want to build their own social networks in order to moderate, control, dictate , and ultimately impact the branding message in favor of the organization. When you decide to host a dinner party, your guests are typically going to eat some of what you have decided to serve. It's like that when a company builds their own social network. PR and Marketing end up being in full play.

Should they doe this? Absolutely. NING, Linkedin, and even A SMALL WORLD allow for this type of action. However, as much as a company may try is truly difficult to exist in a bubble and the newer platforms ,i.e. Twitter seem to make it less likely as people choose to lend their ears or not.

Who doesn't want the data and qualitative feedback of the consumers that manifest the cult at their disposal?.

Companies dependent on wide scale and diverse consumer demographics should also join the social networks facebook and any blogs,groups and pages within them) that are indicative of their brand supporters or haters for that matter.

There is the conversation we create and then ...there is the conversations we listen to by stepping in the room. Both are of great importance in selling what is on offer and extending the long term value of the brand. That said presence of a company in the social networks should always be strategic and tie back to brand perception and it's impact on revenue and consumer value.

Kind Regards,
Adrienne Wallace Hayward

Fairfield Media Consultancy


  1. Adrienne,
    What you say makes sense.
    But just to stretch the party analogy a bit...

    Sure, at your dinner party, the guests will sample your wares. BUT the challenge is to get people to your party.

    The alternative being to go to a public event, where they already are, and hope to make an impression while you are there..

    - Sanjay Mehta

  2. Drop the science ..great insight that we all need to know as things change.

  3. Not at all surprised by your success....slightly surprised by your decidedly "unjaded-ness" towards love and relationships......I've always admired your insightful views, ambition, and positivity


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