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There’s a terrific article by Douglas Holt in HBR, “Branding In The Age Of Social Media”, about why traditional brands have such a hard time gaining traction in the social media space.

I thought this image sums up the reason why brands trip up, so often, so early and so easily:

Because normal folk are in social media spaces to create “sceniuses” i.e. places where people (i.e. “artists”) can share stuff they made (i.e. their “art”) together, and therefore learn and improve by interacting with each other.

But brands don’t enter these spaces to share, learn, and improve. They go in there primarily to sell, market and promote… and for the most part, don’t mind using false pretenses to hide the fact.

So, of course everybody else ignores them, because, yes, you’re correct, that’s what normal, healthy, sane people do.

The good news is, it doesn’t always have to be this way. The good news is, you have full power to change your modus operandi from “Yell & Sell” to “Listen & Learn” in these spaces, any time you darn well please.

The only question is, will you actually let yourself do that….?