My first post to the BBH Labs blog covers a subject I talk about a lot: social media flings. I first touched on the shift of social connections from friend to follow to fling in this post about brands failing to enter social media. Coming out of the conversation, the fling point became more and more relevant in my everyday work with brands.
This post assesses my current take (Spring, 2010) on the subject. The point is simple: brands overemphasize long-term relationships in social media at the expense of highly valuable flings.
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Based on the comments in the article, I fear I miscommunicated a key point. In the article I use the analogy of “camp friends”– those friends you’re very close with, and have a genuine bond with, but generally fail to remain in touch with after camp is over. In it, I reference how you pick up with those friends right where you last left off. This implied seeing them again was critical, and therefore led to some misinterpretation about the role of context. I would argue this brief relationships are very valuable even if you never see that person again. That’s the epitome of a meaningful fling, and one I still believe most brands are failing to capitalize on.]
You can read the post here.