There has been a lot of activity recently around whether or not people follow brands or whether they follow people within those brands. In a recent study published by Forbes, it showed that people follow brands for discounts and not for engagement.
This seems to be the case when we look at a platform like Twitter as well. In a recent article published by MyBroadband; the article looked at the “Most Popular Twits in South Africa” and the results are quite interesting.
Let’s first look at the most popular accounts globally (just for comparison’s sake):
Of all the followers on the list, the first brand comes in at number 10 (@YouTube).
The South African Twitter stats are similar in that regard:
We need to look at the value that these brands – and in fact all brands – are offering via their social platforms. What can I gain from following Coca Cola on Twitter? What can I learn about Apple on this channel that I am not reading or hearing about via another channel?
You could argue that the people with HUGE followings are “brands” in their own right, but we are specifically talking about companies vs people. The personal brand is just another facet of this which gives rise to another point and a matter of large debate. What should a business invest in? Building a following and a community around their brand – or building a following and a community around the face of their brand?!
I don’t think there is a right or a wrong answer as it depends on far too many intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of your community as well as your product or service offering.
Does make for interesting food for thought though – maybe its time you lifted your profile – Expert Positioning Strategy.