An interesting post flowed through my Google Alerts email this morning from Digital Response Media. The post was entitled: Social media ‘ideal for branding.’ The point of the post was to explain how the digital marketing manager of British Airways, Chris Davies, uses social media to raise the profile of his brand online. Basically, he finds extreme value in user generated content on the web.

There was an interesting quote in the piece from Mr. Davies:

Most UGC site users are wary of big brands coming into what they conside to be ‘their space’…. But if you are giving them something that helps then, some sort of social currency, then they’ll likely thank you for it.”

I found it interesting that Mr. Davies thought of a social media strategy as a COMPANY enterting into a space of individuals. I find that branding/communication strategies in a social media environment obtain more useful information and build BETTER brand value when personality is added to the mix. A good example of this would be Comcast. Whether or not you agree that Comcast is an excellent services (sometimes they are far from it) they have done a great job at using twitter for customer service. You can connect to Comcast on twitter @comcastcares.

Comcast did it right. They entered a space where individuals were sharing information and they added content themselves. When I ‘tweet’ @comcastcares I do not think of it as messaging a company but messaging an individual.

A brand can no longer enter a space as a ‘sponsor’ throwing up their adds all over the page in an attempt to gain recognition. We can see this through Myspace and Facebook. Does it work? You might get some click throughs. You might even sell something!

When it comes down to it you are not really building a lasting brand image.

You are building a weak wall that will crumble and fall.

The post ended with a quote stating that 27 percent of companies use social media as part of their communications strategy. I find that hard to believe.