The dichotomy of social media

Last week, Facebook Canada released data on how people and brands are using its platform and interacting with one another.  When we think of people using Facebook we tend to think that people are connecting to their friends and family. And most brands tend to use Facebook to market/sell their wares.

However, there are those people who use Facebook for motives that are not as simple. And the same goes for brands. How people use Facebook (and social media in general) is a topic for another blog post in the not too distant future.

Personally, I “follow” brands to learn. I want to learn how they talk to their audience. I want to learn how they market to potential customers. I want to learn what they say during times of crisis as well as when things are looking great.

Two brands I follow are The YMCA and Flight Centre. And for very different reasons. Flight Centre has a strong team here in Toronto led by the very capable Gregg Tilston. YMCA does an amazing job on social media. Their content is very engaging.  And, of course, they are accomplishing two very different things.

Today, their posts found themselves together, one on top of the other.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 11.31.26 AM

And these two message could not be any more different. YMCA highlighted the fact that many people in Ontario face: how to make ends meet.  Flight Centre posted an aspirational message.

Two very different, yet effective, uses of social media.