Should some brands be unfriended?

Facebook is a huge success, we all know that. But are major brands being blinded by the sheer volume of people using the channel?

First it was Levis who started using Facebook’s latest “like” functionality to allow people to share the type of jeans they are buying, or wearing. The style of jean would be sent out to all that person’s friends letting them know what jeans that person is likely to be wearing out down the youth club (do these still exist for the Facebook generation?) that evening.

Now, maybe it is just me, but I would take this as a “don’t buy these jeans” alert. The last thing I want to do, and sharing my metrosexual side here, is turn up on a night out with my friends where we are all wearing the same clothes. Maybe it is just a British thing?

The latest of the major global brands to look to Facebook to steal a march on the competition is McDonalds. The social media giant’s highly anticipated location updates, which are just round the corner, look likely to be the cornerstone of a new way for people to interact with the burger giant.

Sorry, but again maybe it is a cultural thing, but to go around sharing with your friends and family that you are in McDonalds again would fill me with dread. It is one location that, no matter how strong a guilty pleasure a quarter pounder with cheese is, I would not want to share across Facebook, not even for 50p off.

Brands such as the two I have singled out above need to be sure to think carefully about how they roll out campaigns internationally. There will always be cultural stereotypes and idiosyncrasies that will make it difficult to ensure a global social media campaign is successful in all countries. Local teams with local knowledge are important in avoiding the brand becoming a local laughing stock. One answer is to create country specific Facebook pages that will enable these individualities to be a positive and not an opportunity to poke fun.

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