A conversational birthday
This week, I celebrated my 28th birthday. And what comes along with turning another year older? The “happy birthday” wishes in all its forms and shapes!
When I turned 8, my classmates sang a birthday song and some family members wrote me a paper card. When I turned 18, this remained basically the same. One can wonder: What about text messages? The response is that I received my first cell phone – a Nokia 3210 – as an 18th birthday gift. And there were probably some e-cards, most of them nevertheless too ugly to remember.
Another 10 years later, the birthday wishes culture has changed drastically. I still receive a limited number of paper cards. Besides that, there are the text messages and the e-mails – although both diminishing. Furthermore the posts on my Facebook wall and the congratz tweets. Since we all love data, I made a quick calculation: 5 paper cards, 18 text messages, 1 e-mail, 76 Facebook posts and 24 tweets. 124 congratulations in total, a record edition.
But what does this mean for brands and companies?
There is the “quality exceeds quantity” mantra. Are your social media friends and followers real brand ambassadors? What is the value of a Facebook post from a former youth movement friend you haven’t seen in real life during the past 10 years? Those people will never send me a paper card, those people will never return the reply card attached to a print advert. But being engaged, being part of a brand community is now much more approachable. The engagement might be less unconditional than the one from your former brand fan club members. Now it is up to the brand to deepen the commitment towards something more than clicking “Like” or “Retweet”.