A year and a half ago I wrote an article called ‘What Britney Spears can teach you about modern experiential branding‘ that explained the concept of experiencal currency which is the trend where social media has transcended mere technology to become embedded in the very fabric of modern inter-personal relationships and changed how we represent ourselves through our digital personas. It basically means that social currency has forced people become their own individual brands struggling to express our own unique brand image, tone and voice, and create compelling content other people will want to engage with. Brands want to stand out from the crowd and noise created by other brands or in this case people want to stand out from our friends who are also posting and are competing for our friends attention in social media channels so our content is perceived as having valued and makes an impression. I continue to strongly believe that this concept of experiential currency is the main driver of social media and modern experiental branding.
You can see more proof of the concepts of experiental currency and it’s ability to make people into their own little brands as yesterday Facebook announced that it will give users the option to pay $7 per post to use a Promote button that will make a post appear both higher in the feed and to a larger portion of your friends. The post will appear in the timeline as “sponsored,” and if you pay for this service you will have the ability to check to see how many more people saw it. It is easy to see how this supports the concept of experiental currency because Facebook recognized that the need for people to be able to promote their events is so strong they will pay to make it happen. It is also easy to see how this supports the concept of personal branding as we all are extremely familiar with this concept for the brands we work on but it is called paid search engine advertising. This functionality also extends with trend of personal brand building as anyone who wants to use this service will have to go through the same process a brand would go through. You have to understand when using this tactic will have the most impact and use it judiciously only on key content so it doesn’t becoming annoying and harm the relationship with the people consuming the content.
I think these trends are going to continue to grow and strengthen over the coming years so the question really is do you understand this trend and understand how your brand can use it to their advantage?