How should Brands behave in Social Media?

Posted: April 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Kev's Thoughts On... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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A friend recently asked me a question on Facebook regarding Brands in Social Media, and I thought I”d repost it here. The question is immensely complicated and my answer is overly simplified, but for your reading pleasure, here you go.

Q: On Sina Weibo (China”s Twitter), people re-share the same post from an influential micro-blogger more than a hundred times within several minutes. But a post from Brands, fans rarely share… How can Brands generate interaction while transferring the product”s benefits?

A: First, who cares about brand attributes? Only the brand manager of that brand does. Do you as a consumer of media and products yearn to hear and learn about brand attributes or a product”s benefits? I bet the answer is no.

Social Media has been built in part to equalize and democratize interaction and relationship. Brands need to approach social media as if they are any other individual in social media. What do individuals talk about? Do they talk to their friends about their personal attributes? No. Why? Because its weird, no one cares, you”ll piss off your friends and it makes you look like you”re an arrogant narcissist.

So what do real influential individuals talk about, and what is it that other people love them for? Influential individuals talk about the topics that they are passionate about. Specifically, the issues that are important to them and to their community. Other people learn about the individual”s personality by the things that individual talks and cares about. The individual does NOT exclusively tell other people he/she is about this or that.

So Brands need to do the same. Brand attributes and values are the personality of the brand. But then, as a personality, what should the Brand care about that is going on in the real world? How does the Brand, as a real individual, participate in the real world? The continual answering, exploring, exercising these questions is how a Brand should behave in social media.

Brands that build games or entertaining platforms is ok, it allows people to participate and interact. But instead of trying to get people to engage directly with the Brand in its brand attributes, the brand should build platforms and interactions that help individuals participate in the issues that the individual (and the brand) cares about in the world.

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Toms: Really talking and doing what they care about.


Mobile China and China Youth: Video Lecture

Posted: February 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Kev's Thoughts On... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I recently spoke at the Illinois Technology Association”s Mobile Visionary Roundtable and gave a presentation about the state of China”s mobile environment, the issues that make up the China youth experience, and how youth culture and technology influence each other.  I”ve had the chance make a video of the presentation for your viewing pleasure.

There are 16 parts to this video (it was originally about 1 hr. in length), and I”ve uploaded both YouTube and Youku versions of each part depending if you”re viewing from within China or outside of China.

Special thanks to China Youthology, Enovate China, and Mobile Youth for their insightful contributions!

** Special note: Unfortunately Youku has censored the last 8 parts of my presentation. This second half is about China Youth Culture and grass-roots events that have happened that illustrate Chinese Youth pushing the limits of new media and censorship. Apologies to all who cannot view YouTube videos.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Unfortunately Youku has blocked the last 8 parts of my presentation. This second half is about China Youth Culture and grass-roots events that have happened that illustrate Chinese Youth pushing the limits of new media and censorship. Apologies to all who cannot view YouTube videos.

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16


Video: A Short History of Marketing

Posted: January 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

A fantastic short video titled “A Short History of Marketing”. If you have not seen this yet, click to watch right now. Special thanks to @AlvinFoo and MOBIZ for leading me to this vid.