What does the future hold?
Having attended a premier dinner organised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce the other night I had the good fortune to chat with the keynote speaker Simon Francis (CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi) - his presentation was based round their idea of "Lovemarks" - I have long since used their analogy in describing the creation and requirement of social objects and their place in a social network.
My perception has always been that social networks exist because of social objects - that which is discussed - social objects that take a social network, blog, forum to a viral state of impassioned euphoria have been sprinkled in "Lovemark" dust.
A social object is better explained by my old school friend Hugh Macleod
The Saatchi definition of a "Lovemark" is a product, service or entity that inspires loyalty beyond reason - so yes it can be a brand, cup of coffee but equally a video of someone dancing or a great musical track.
Therefore if you as a marketing bod want to create a social network or a large following think carefully about what the lovemark or social object is that will make it a success. It is all to do with emotion - creating that link to your audience that will make them get very excited at the prospect of getting involved, joining the conversation or buying the product (beyond reason).