As a proponent of social media as an effective tool in marketing communications, I often yammer on and on to whoever will listen about how, if done right, it can turn fans of a product into downright brand evangelists – those who take great pride in expounding on their love for a product, company, organization or brand.
Think of it like word-of-mouth marketing…times a million.
Anyhow, to me, it seems that effective brand engagement in the social space is starting to do something more – turning brand evangelists into brand apologists!
Case in point – little ‘ole me.
I love Skittles.
However, I love their social media presence even more. (Me and about 21.5 million others at last count.)
Given my adoration, when a blog by Spin Sucks popped up in my email titled “PR Crisis for Skittles In Wake of Controversial Teen Shooting,” I found myself sitting alone in my office saying out loud, “Hey, you leave my rainbow of fruit flavor alone!” without even seeing what the crisis was about.
While I did eventually click on the link to the blog, which focused on the Trayvon Martin tragedy and Skittles’ resulting sales from it, I was surprised at my fervent defense of the glorified sugar pills without looking at a single fact.
So, I ask you, has social media turned me from a brand evangelist into a brand apologist? Or is being a brand apologist part in parcel of being evangelical about something in the first place?