Mr. O’Brien, for instance, has almost a million fans amassed on the “I’m With Coco” Facebook group, which formed during his feud with NBC and is controlled by fans. Rather than fully taking over the group, as they considered doing, Mr. O’Brien’s employees simply keep in touch with the pages’ operators and occasionally add links. Still, Mr. O’Brien’s official Web site encourages visitors to become fans of the group. Sometimes, it seems, it is better to embrace an existing online audience than to try to create a new one.
Well said, Mr. Stelter. And well done, Coco. Giving up control is understandably an uncomfortable idea for a lot of brands. But the truth is that you never really had full control in the first place, so why not embrace and support the legions of fans who are already out there championing your cause?