But when I visited the Facebook page for Guitar Center – the retail music megastore – I was truly surprised. Half way down their wall was a post about Guitar Center’s Food Drive. A click brought me to a web page dedicated to ‘Help Fight Hunger’.
In 2009, consumer brands are truly seeing the connection between building a social community and supporting ‘good works’. And not just the big brands either. All kinds of companies are taking a piece of their hard-earned profits and donating them to charity and environmental programs.
It makes perfect sense. It’s one thing to have products people think are cool, or green, or best-in-class. (Or even all three.) That will get you a certain amount of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. But if you want your core customers to become true evangelists, you better give them something more to believe in than just your products.
You need to let them see that your company stands for something that goes beyond making a profit. You need to make the causes of your evangelists – your causes. Something that matters to them on a deeper level. Because that’s when they really start to get excited. And then they start telling all their friends, who in turn tell their friends, and so on…
And pretty soon you have hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook who’ve come to endorse your brand – because you’re doing the right thing.
Isn’t that cool? It means this whole social media thing really does have a silver lining. And because of that, I’m very happy to be a part of it.