Smart brands (and their agencies) understand the nuances of this relationship. A brand’s social media presence exists to serve the consumer, not act as a faux BFF. Service encompasses many dynamics of the relationship. The brand can (and should) deliver a tangible benefit to the consumer, but it can also provide a broader, more emotive range of services. A social platform can serve its followers by keeping them informed or giving them exclusive information. It can inspire or entertain.
What it shouldn’t do is offer meaningless, shallow engagement tactics. Entertain me with a relevant and clever St Patrick’s Day post, if it’s timely and relevant. Trying to inflate your stats with scheduled platitudes may result in a short-term bounce for the community manager, but what about the community?