Can’t Buy Me Love…

WSJ recently wrote about wannabe cool kids aiming to game the web’s new social scorekeepers.  I’ve been puzzled by this for some time now especially as it relates to bloggers – how does this sort of social currency [which is the equivalent of “I’m kind of a big deal”] relate to brand offers and is it the right move to make?  So if one becomes known for being influential to a network, does that influence become diluted when brands begin offering items to those select few?


I grasp the importance of online reputation management, personal branding and incorporating elements that build one’s influence score but I think it’ll be a thin line to tread between truly opening the feedback portal up to an honest review and coming across as purchasing influence.  It reminds me of that 80’s movie “Can’t Buy Me Love”.  If you haven’t seen it, oh my gosh get thee to your nearest Netflix app and prepare to salivate over Patrick Dempsey enjoy this delightful high school tale.  To quote IMDB “Ronald Miller is tired of being a nerd, and makes a deal with one of the most popular girls in school to help him break into the “cool” clic. He offers her a thousand dollars to pretend to be his girlfriend for a month. It succeeds, but he soon learns that the price of popularity may be higher than he expected.”


Brands have a tough call to make, do they market to the influencers (those with high social capital) or do they build slowly and steadily with the advocates who are relentlessly passionate about the brand even if said brand doesn’t reply to their questions on Facebook or Twitter?  Michael Brito points out that “when a brand actually spends time nurturing its advocates and connecting on a human level, its emotional equity will grow exponentially. And that’s a hard bond to break.”


So…since we are internet BFFs and all I’m going to ask you – do you really want to be Cindy Mancini melting down and shouting “What a joke!… Ronald Miller paid me 1,000 bucks to pretend I liked him. What a deal, huh? $1,000 to go out with him for a month. This guy. Oh, God. He bought me.”


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