This Media Post article says that people are more willing to share thoughts and comments on brands than previously thought.
“Being in a social network is like going to someone’s barbecue. People are talking about the experiences of their lives. The sharing experience that happens in the physical world also happens in the social.”
So this is a good thing and makes sense to me. As I can see the usage of Facebook/Twitter and my friends, it seems to have become the coffee break / water cooler for this day and age. Perhaps there is a bit of detachment (due to the lack of physical presence,) that leads to easy brand discussion, but I think more so that this is where many congregate to make small talk now.
“Among survey respondents, 30% admitted to learning about a product, service or brand on a social network site. Twenty-seven percent say they remain receptive to receiving invitations for events, special offers or promotions from advertisers through the sites, and 25% admit to going directly to an online retailer or ecommerce site after learning about a product or service on Facebook, Twitter or another social site.”
So the interest of brands in keeping in front of customers is warranted in social networking… Having a cohesive strategy that is not perceived as being reactive is key. People can see directly through the reactive nature of fixing an issue only after the kvetching starts on Twitter et al. Being part of the conversation and not directing it is key in the Social space.