The case studies I have presented in recent posts highlight the successful use of social media to increase reputational capital. These have uncovered the means by which brands are using the digital landscape in order to create wealth.
Having recently written a paper on the political economy of new media, I can’t help but think about how two sides of the social media coin have been brought to life – both of which promote brand reps in different ways.
On one hand, we can see how brands are tapping into the non-commodified relationships that people are having online to not only increase brand presence and reputation but also to produce capital.
In the case of KLM Airlines, it was clear how social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare were commodified. The individuals who were targeted for a gift had their social media presence analysed in order to determine an appropriate gift. The campaign demonstrates how brands can mine the data collected about individuals online in order to leverage their brand.
On the other hand, we see how social media is providing a ‘democratising’ voice to marginalised views. By interacting with her fans directly via social media, Lady Gaga has created inclusionary spaces around her celebrity status and shared interest in her music for her fans to discuss issues such as their ‘imperfections’.
Do you think that it is invasive for brands to use the data collected about the things we do online? Are the privacy settings we set really private? Do you feel as though the consumer has a democratising voice online?